Scotland’s Momentum Films Launches at Cannes, Looks to South Asia With Diverse Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

Glasgow-based Momentum Films, led by producer Rakasree Basu (“Iqbal and the Jewel of India”), has officially launched at the Cannes Film Festival‘s market

Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 14:31:29 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 14:31:29

Glasgow-based Momentum Films, led by producer Rakasree Basu (“Iqbal and the Jewel of India”), has officially launched at the Cannes Film Festival‘s market.

The company is focusing on developing original stories by converging the Scottish and the South Asian cinematic landscapes across feature films, high end television and narrative documentaries.

Momentum has an under-production film “Adrift,” which was shot in Tamil Nadu, southern India, and is currently in post-production. The Tamil-language film explores the underlying complexity of the idea of identity through the story of a young man growing up in an orphanage in India when his quest for freedom become an endless pursuit. It marks the debut feature for director Ponselvam Karthi. The cast includes M.R. Netaji, Harishankar and Thamira.

“Adrift” is produced by Momentum Films as a minority co-production partner along with Yellow House Pictures and Raging Films, India and A.K. Studios, U.S.

Karthi said: “Through this film, I intended to bring forward a character who struggles with psychological complexities, with problems that a youngster in his twenties might have to face. I concentrated on capturing the lies, abuse and actions that contradict the character’s notion of existence. The film was shot in the unexplored regions of Western Ghats and Uvari, which is a red sand desert along the sea coast. These areas have not been recorded in cinema so far. The fresh landscapes perfectly complement the story.”

Next up for Momentum is Riad Arfin’s first feature, with the working title “The Idea of Me,” set at the Outer Hebrides in Scotland and Kolkata, India. The English and Bengali-language project, currently in development, explores the emotional and spiritual convolutions of an immigrant from Bengal living in Scotland.

Arfin is a Bangladeshi filmmaker based in Scotland. His short, “A B -

order Between Us,” supported by the Scottish Documentary Institute and Screen Scotland, premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2023 and was selected at DC/DOX in 2024.

“As a filmmaker from Bangladesh I understand the impact of post-colonialism and the representation of Bengali communities in a foreign land. I am committed to shedding light on the stories that often go unheard or unnoticed. I strive to tell stories that reflect varied experiences of migrants and individuals who undergone unique journeys,” Arfin said.

While Momentum Films will focus on developing original IP, Basu’s company in India, Frames Per Second Films, which co-produced the first Danish-Indian feature film “Iqbal and the Jewel of India,” will serve as a production service company for overseas films, television series and documentaries filming in India.

Basu said: “I’m focusing on original stories from first- and second-time filmmakers and identifying underrepresented and working-class voices from the global majority of filmmakers to craft compelling stories of human emotions, journeys and conflict. Riad and Karthi are powerful storytellers. Their understanding of character and cultural nuances echo their lived experiences, and their unique narrative approach engages you beyond comprehension.”

“This is an exciting time to engage in co-productions, particularly between the U.K. and India,” Basu added. “I’m looking forward to bringing together the talented cast and crew from Scotland and South Asia for all projects on Momentum’s slate.”

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