India’s Das Toplines All-Female Feature

‘Sandalwood’ is set as Indian-Spanish co-production

MUMBAI – Top Indian actress Nandita Das will star in “Traces of Sandalwood” a Spanish-Indian drama to be shot next month with an all-woman crew.

The film, directed by Maria Ripoll (“Tortilla Soup”), is understood to be the first to make use of the bilateral co-production treaty between India and Spain, which was signed a year ago and came into effect in May this year.

The film, an adaptation of novel co-written by Anna Solas-Pont, is the story of a Bollywood star who journeys to Spain to find her long-lost sister, played by newcomer Irina Sanjeevan. The picture will shoot in Barcelona and Mumbai.

Solas-Pont, head of Pontas Literary & Film Agency, wrote the adapted screenplay and will executive produce.

“It will be fun working with a woman director, woman DoP,” said Das on Friday, at an event marking the beginning of the Mumbai Film Festival’s rights and project market.

Finance comes from Televisio de Catalunya (TV3) and Television Espanol (TVE). The film is seeking to raise some Euros250,000 of its budget on crowd-sourcing website Indiegogo.

“I have always been bothered, even more today than some years ago, by the lack of women in this incredible industry,” said Solas-Pont on her blog. “The film will feature an all-female crew – everyone from the director to the line-producer, cinematographer, production designer, sound director, casting director, music composer and editor who are working on ‘Traces of Sandalwood’ are women.”

Das was star of Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” and “Earth” and Santosh Sivan’s “Before The Rains,” and was on the Cannes jury in 2005.

Das’ real-life husband Subodh Maskara also plays her husband in the film, the second time he has done so after “Between The Lines.”

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