Doha Film Institute backs Mira Nair project
Doha, October 5, 2011
Doha Film Institute has partnered with award-winning filmmaker Mira Nair (of Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake fame) to bring the best seller novel 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' on to the big screen.
‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist,’ is one of the bestselling novels of Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. It was even shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
It is a riveting thriller about Changez, a young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street in the era of globalization. After 9/11, Changez experiences a seismic shift in his own attitude, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.
Adapted by Bill Wheeler, Mohsin Hamid, and Ami Boghani and produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is the second major international production to receive financing from the Doha Film Institute (DFI).
The film started shooting this week on location in Atlanta, New York, Lahore, Delhi and Istanbul.
Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Black Gold) stars in the lead role of Changez alongside actors Kate Hudson (Bride Wars, Nine, Something Borrowed), Liev Schreiber (Salt, X-Men: Origins, The Manchurian Candidate), Kiefer Sutherland (24).
Also appearing in the film are Nelsan Ellis, Martin Donovan, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Haluk Bilginer, and Meesha Shafi.
'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' a Mirabai Films and Cine Mosaic production, marks DFI’s first financing involvement in an independent feature film.
The project underscores DFI’s ongoing goal to foster creativity and storytelling by supporting key independent productions from international filmmakers around the world.
Commenting on the movie, Nair said: “My father lived in Lahore before the partition of India and Pakistan. I am inspired to make a contemporary film about Pakistan, especially in this day and age when the perceived schism between Islamists and the Western World becomes more pronounced each day."
"In Doha Film Institute, I have a like-minded partner who shares a common belief in this story and its ability to affect change, having supported this project from the very beginning. In this day and age to have creative freedom to make a film that is political, timely and multi layered is a gift." she added.
Hamid is often cited in the media regarding Pakistani politics and culture. “Right now in Pakistan there is a feeling of intense isolation. So this film means a great deal to me. It is a rare case of artistic collaboration between Pakistanis, Americans, and Indians," he remarked.
"It tries to humanise what too often is stereotyped. And it tries to break down the walls that separate us, to expand our sense of empathy, and to let us reconnect as artists, as people, and as citizens of a shared planet," he added.
DFI executive director Amanda Palmer said, "Mira Nair is one of the most recognised filmmakers working today, someone who Qatar has long admired for her talent and commitment to making films that tackle strong subject matters with enduring humanity."
"And with the tenth anniversary year of September 11, the importance of this story cannot be understated," she stated.
“At the very core of DFI’s film financing mandate is to contribute to World Cinema and ensure that great stories continue to be told," she added.-TradeArabia News Service