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Benegal struggles to find producers for Spy Princess

Suktara Purkayastha in New Delhi | December 17, 2008 17:30 IST

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Veteran director Shyam Benegal [Images] is having a tough time finding producers for his ambitious project Spy Princess in the recession hit film industry. The film has been adapted from a book of the same name by Sharabani Basu. Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan, was a British-Indian princess who served as a spy during World War II and was captured and shot dead by German forces, who failed to extract any information from her.

"It is difficult to get a producer due to the economic situation. Everything will be finalised once we get a producer for the movie," Benegal told PTI.

Benegal has been planning the film for quite sometime and feels that "the project is worth making."

Similar is the fate of Chamki, another Benegal project that has been in the pipeline for quite sometime. The film, inspired by George Bizet's classic Spanish opera Carmen, revolves around a fiery gypsy girl.

"The music is by A R Rahman and Javed Akhtar has written the lyrics, however the star cast has not been finalised yet." said the seven time national award-winning director.

Benegal said he has shifted his focus to social and political satires after the success of his recently released film Welcome to Sajjanpur.

The director said he is enjoying "this genre of films" and is all set to make a political satire.

"We can depict very easily the complex situation in the society, people can relate easily to that and see everything with a comical eye," he said.

However, the 73-year old director is keeping his future plans tightly under wraps. When asked about audience's expectations from his next film the director has just two words: "Don't anticipate."

"I have never repeated myself and this time too it will be an entirely fresh approach," he said.

Asked about India's hope at the Oscars this year with Aamir Khan's [Images] Taare Zameen Par and Danny Boyle's film Slumdog Millionaire, the director said, "It is difficult for Indians to get noticed at the Oscars as there is an entire process of lobbying that goes on there."

"Everyone is talking about Slumdog Millionaire, but people forget that the film is also a part of that establishment," he says.

Benegal is also happy with the new crop of creative directors in the Hindi film industry.

"The young directors are doing some very good work, I have seen more creativity in recent years than I have seen in 20 years," he said.

On the filmmakers who want to make a film on the Mumbai terror attacks, Benegal says, "it is a very subjective matter, depends on how one interprets. Personally for me the incident is too personal, too close and traumatic to make a film."

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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