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Kenneth Branagh to Act as Patron for Shakespeare Anniversary Project

LONDON — Kenneth Branagh is to act as the patron of Shakespeare on Screen, a year-long program that marks 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death.

The program, which is being spearheaded by regional movie agency Film London, includes a series of productions celebrating Shakespeare’s life, legacy and global appeal. Branagh said: “Storytellers at every stage of their careers continue to draw from the playwright’s work, so it is fitting that this project — through an ambitious series of brand new commissions — showcases emerging and established talent alike.”

The projects include U.K.-India co-production “The Hungry,” which is produced through Film London’s Microwave initiative. It is written and directed by Bornila Chatterjee (“Let’s Be Out,” “The Sun Is Shining”), and co-written and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta and Kurban Kassam (line producer of “20,000 Days on Earth”).

The film, which is a contemporary retelling of Shakespearian tragedy “Titus Andronicus,” is set in the surroundings of an Indian wedding while exploring the role of the patriarch, and corruption in Indian politics and business. The film has a budget of £300,000 ($447,000), raised by India’s Cinestaan Film Company and a U.K. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Another part of the program is documentary film “All the World’s a Screen – Shakespeare on Film,” which will look the interrelationship between Shakespeare’s work and the world of film and TV. It is written and produced by David Thompson and Film London chief Adrian Wootton, and directed by David Thompson for the BBC and in association with Film London.

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