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Pushpendra Singh, director of Busan New Currents nominee “Ashwatthama,” has unveiled several upcoming projects.
First up will be “Shifting Lines of the Desert,” a documentary about the changing religious dynamics among the Manganiyar musicians in India. The film is supported by Busan’s Asian Network of Documentary Fund. Most of the film has been shot. Singh took a hiatus to shoot “Ashwatthama” and will complete the documentary by early 2018.
Singh’s next fiction feature is “Kenchuli,” an adaptation of acclaimed writer Vijayan Detha’s story. Singh’s first feature, “Lajwanti,” which unspooled at the 2014 Berlin festival was also an adaptation of a Detha story. “Kenchuli” is due to commence principal photography in December 2018. Marudhar Arts, Crawling Angel Films and ASR Films, the companies behind “Ashwatthama,” are backing “Kenchuli” and are in the process of securing the $350,000 budget.
“Ashwatthama” was completed with the support of Busan’s ACF Post-Production Fund. It will have its world premiere on Oct. 15. Set in the Chambal ravines of central India, the film is a fable where myth and reality collide.
“I wanted to explore an aesthetic which draws on the ‘Janpadiya’; i.e., the local cultural and artistic traditions of a place,” says Singh. “I belong to the Chambal region and have experienced how myths shape our daily lives. I was also fascinated by how myths were formed out of contemporary events. The films of Victor Erice have always fascinated me because of the same quality. So I decided to explore the same from my own life and make a film out of it.”
Hong Kong-based Asian Shadows is handling international sales and representing “Ashwatthama” to buyers at the Asian Film Market.
Singh is also on board as the producer of Sharofat Arabova’s Indo-Tajikistan film “Parvona.” The film was one of the participants at the 2016 Asian Project Market in Busan and is in the process of finding production finance.