HONG KONG – Fox Star Studios and Mahesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films have begun production on “Citylights,” an Indian remake of “Metro Manila,” the Philippines-set, UK-produced action-drama that this weekend was named best film at the British Independent Film Awards.
The story of a poor family which escapes from rural poverty by migrating to the big city (originally Manila, now Mumbai) only for the husband to be caught up in an armored truck heist, is directed by Hansal Mehta (“Shahid”.)
Starring Rajkumar Yadav and actress Patraleka, the film started shooting last week in Rajasthan.
The original film was directed by Sean Ellis, with Jake Macapagal and Althea Vega in the Tagalog-language lead roles. It had its premiere in Sundance in January and was since selected as the U.K.’s foreign language Oscar contender.
Remake rights were acquired by Los Angeles-based Fox International Productions for Fox Star Studios. FSS is the joint venture between 20th Century Fox and pay-TV leader Star Television, both units of 21st Century Fox.
“’Citylights’ is a love story set against the backdrop of a thriller and we can assure the audiences that this is going to be an altogether new cinematic experience for them,” said Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios. “The fact that ‘Metro Manila’ is winning international nods is a testament to the fact that its story has found a connect with the worldwide audience and we are excited to bring this story to the Indian audiences set in Rajasthan and Mumbai.”
FSS expects to release “Citylights” on May 1, 2014.