Bengali director Gautam Ghosh will soon direct the first Indo-Italian co-production based on the first novel of a well-known Italian producer Sergio Scapagnini. The film Story Of Lala will go on floors in the middle of next year and will be the first co-production after India signed a treaty with Italy a few months ago, Scapagnini said.
''The novel is the Italian producer's first foray into writing and is based on a true story of a boy whom he met during one of his annual trips to India. The book published by Penguin is a rags-to-riches story of an 11-year-old Lala.
Scapagnini, who is in Goa for the screening of his film Fire At My Heart featuring Sonali Kulkarni among others, said, "The first draft of the script was ready and Gautam had sent it to me for approval. We will begin work on it after Gautam completes his under production film Yatra'', he added.
Scapagnini described himself as the pioneer of Indo-Italian film friendship as he has made Vrindavan Film Studios (1996) and now Fire at my heart with Indian actors.
He said the co-production treaty will be more beneficial to producers. ''I made films with the Indian actors and crew, earlier -- but we did not know whether to call it an Italian film or Indian film. Besides, there will be several incentives for the co-productions," he said.
Fire At My Heart had been screened only at the Venice festival before being showcased here, Sergio said. The film will be released in Italy in Feburary 2006 and the international release will be planned later.
Scapagnini said he had produced Impermanence a docmentary on Dalai Lama also directed by Ghosh. ''Since cinema has the power to record relative time for posterity, Ghosh tried to capture Lama's experience and wisdom to help us to better understand our society,'' he said.