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Vasan Bala Takes ‘Last Breath’ Back to Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP (EXCLUSIVE)

Vasan Bala, director of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao’s Indian competition title “The Man Who Feels No Pain” (aka “Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota”), will next direct “Till The Last Breath” (“Marte Dum Tak”). As with “No Pain,” former Disney India managing director Ronnie Screwvala will produce through his RSVP production outfit.

“No Pain” is a martial arts, coming of age, film that bowed in Toronto, where it won the People’s Choice Award at the festival’s Midnight Madness strand. It opened the Mumbai festival on October before hitting the world festival circuit.

“Next is also an action film, but obviously very different from this one,” Bala told Variety. “’Till The Last Breath’ will amp up the intensity a bit more, because action is something that I want to really explore in its different facets. Apart from hand to hand combat and Hong Kong style martial arts, we’ve also seen the sword fights popularized by Tamil star M.G.R. to samurai films to ‘Star Wars,’ there are so many genres yet to be tapped. So the next I want to take it into that zone, which has a little more weapons, but don’t really want to get into the gangster or underworld genre, but try and create an alternative space, build a new world, and in that world explore action, in an Indian context.”

Bala’s attempt at world building will be on the lines of Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 film “Children Of Men,” where a futuristic world felt intensely real.

“In RSVP, I have a great collaborator, someone who is willing to listen, and willing to take risks. Talking about it is fine, but someone who is willing to back it up with finance is huge, and I know my struggle for the past six years,” Bala said.

Bala has struggled with his debut film “Peddlers,” which premiered at Cannes in 2012, followed by a Toronto screening. Bollywood studio giant, Eros International bought “Peddlers” prior to Cannes, but the film has yet to be released. “Since Toronto, September 2012, there’s talk every six months that the film is going to release, but it never does,” Bala says. He hopes that it will eventually show up on the company’s streaming platform Eros Now.

“No Pain” is set for a March 2019 release in India. XYZ is handling North American sales and Hong Kong’s Autumn Sun has Asian rights excluding India.

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