India’s Artbeat Studios has formally launched at the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Market with Don Palathara’s Malayalam-language feature film “1956, Central Travancore.” Artbeat is the sole Indian exhibitor at the market.
The studio is the brainchild of screenwriter Abhilash S. Kumar, whose credits include acclaimed filmmaker Aashiq Abu’s “22 Female Kottayam,” “Da Thadiya,” and “5 Sundarikal.” Funded by Dubai-based private equity sources, the studio’s objective is to provide opportunities to talented newcomers. “The idea is to look for people with calibre, who create content that has layers to it,” Kumar told Variety
First up is a four-film deal with Palathara, beginning with “1956.” “As the title suggests the story happens in 1956 and is about a bunch of men going on a hunt and the tragedy that follows,” Palathara told Variety. Located in the South Indian state of Kerala, the film is set against the backdrop of migration and land reforms that was happening at that time. The film is currently in post-production and has a screening at the market on Monday. Next up is “A Virgin Called Sowmya,” about a 23-year-old aspiring actress who fakes her virginity for a man who professes to be progressive, but in reality is part of the patriarchy.
Palathara’s past credits include “Seed” (“Vitthu”) and “”Corpse” (“Shavam”).
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Mumbai-based Basil Content Media is handling sales and festival management. Going forward, Basil may co-produce with Artbeat, company partner Rajat Goswami told Variety.
Basil’s current slate includes National Award winning Indian film “Hellaro,” corruption tale “Oxygen,” and “Darklight” which chronicles a woman’s life-changing journey.