Hailing from the Assam region, Barua is one of India’s top directors who has worked in the Assam and Hindi industries. His past films, including “Ayejo” and “Tora” have collected an unmatched 11 National Film Awards. “Unread Pages,” which Barua adapted from his own original story, is his first international title.
“Unread Pages” follows the story a happy family that is torn apart due to some unfortunate circumstances. Following those traumatizing events, and having been estranged from his land and culture, the protagonist returns to Assam to redeem himself.
Production is by Shahnaab Alam of Mumbai-based Easterly Entertainment. Sartaj Alam of Easterly and Kilian Kerwin of Ivanhoe are executive producers. Production, in India and the U.S. is expected to start in the second half of the year after seasonal monsoons.
“The story spans almost three generations of a family, and the third generation, the main protagonist, is settled in the US, married to an American wife. Hence, the present-day life of the protagonist is depicted in a North America city,” Shahnaab Alamtold Variety.
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Budget and casting have yet to be finalized. “The budget will be commensurate with the creative and production requirements of the film, as per the standards of independent Indian films with very good production values,” said Alam.
Ivanhoe, part of SK Global, is also producing an untitled 8-episode India-set TV series, taking a compassionate look at policing in a developing country. The show is now in production in Delhi under the direction of Indo-Canadian Richie Mehta (“Siddharth,” “Amal”).
‘Unread Pages’ will be the first film to be made under the recently announce Assam Film Tourism Policy, which came into effect from the 1st January 2018. The policy is geared to attract film projects and production units to Assam, with long term benefits accruing to the state’s tourism sector.
The film’s greenlighting was announced in Assam by Shahnaab Alam, Barua, Jayanta Malla Baruah, chairman of Assam Tourism, and Kausar J Hilaly, MD of Assam Tourism Development Corporation.