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Singh signs ‘Maqbool’ distrib deal

Worldwide rights to Bharadwaj-helmed pic secured

NEW DELHI — South African film producer and distributor Anant Singh has signed a deal for the worldwide distribution of “Maqbool,” the Bollywood production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with Indian company Kaleidoscope Entertainment.

Pact was inked in Mumbai on Saturday at the end of a four-day visit to India headed by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Helmed by Vishal Bharadwaj and produced by Bobby Bedi, “Maqbool” is set against the backdrop of the Mumbai underworld and stars Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. It premiered at last month’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

“South Africa and India are renewing their bonds, and it is appropriate for a significant business deal to have been struck during the state visit,” said Singh.

At the reception, the South African government conferred upon Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan a special commendation for his continued support for and special affinity to the people of South Africa.

“There is nothing as effective as the moving image on the screen in transmitting racial tolerance and inter-cultural understanding,” said Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Ben Ngubane.

“We consider Amitabh Bachchan to be one of the best friends of South Africa internationally.”

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