Sony Pictures International Productions has boarded “PadMan,” the upcoming biographical film produced by and starring Indian superstar Akshay Kumar. The Hollywood studio is set as co-producer and will take global rights, including India. It will release the film from Jan. 26 next year, India’s Republic Day.
“Having scaled up the distribution of local content films in India, and leveraging the strength of Sony Pictures overseas, it is natural for us to get into the production and acquisition of local content,”Vivek Krishnani, MD, Sony Pictures Entertainment, India, told Variety. “’PadMan’ leads our 2018 India film slate.”
“PadMan” is inspired by the life of Indian entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and brought cost-effective female hygiene to India’s rural poor. It is directed by R Balki (“Cheeni Kum”) and features actors Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte. There is also a guest appearance from another Indian superstar, Amitabh Bachchan (“Don,” “Agneepath,” “The Great Gatsby”).
The film is produced through KriArj Entertainment and Mrs Funnybones Movies, the production company controlled by actress Twinkle Khanna, who is also Kumar’s wife. Khanna introduced the story to Kumar.
“Akshay Kumar is the rarest of artists .What makes him and Twinkle so special is that they have a found a way with this film to make a wonderfully affecting and heartwarming movie that also can impact social change,” Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, said in a statement.
Kumar recently enjoyed hit success with another socially conscious film, “Toilet – A Love Story” (“Toilet – Ek Prem Katha”). In that, a woman threatens to leave her husband unless he installs a toilet in their home.
“India is an important and growing market with rich content and dynamic stories that translate worldwide,” said Laine Kline, EVP of business affairs, operations and SPE’s head of local film production.