UTV, which is distributing Mira Nair-directed The Namesake in India, is planning to dub and release the film in four languages – Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English this November. The $9 million budget film is based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer prize winning novel of the same name.
UTV is planning to hype the movie with a slew of promotional gigs, including having Mir Nair and the stars of the film at the premier, a UTV spokesperson disclosed.
Meanwhile, the Namesake is slated to open the Indo-American Arts Council’s 6th IAAC Film Festival in New York on 1 November at the red-carpeted, gold-trimmed 1,131-seat 1960s-style Ziegfeld theatre. Mira Nair, Jhumpa Lahiri, the stars of the film and Salman Rushdie are expected to be in attendance.
The official release of the film is slated to follow at select theatres in select cities across the US two days later. Fox Searchlight which is distributing the film in North America is predicting that the film will emerge as one of the top arthouse releases this year. Fox Searchlight spokesperson Nancy Utley was euphoric when she told media that “the studio couldn’t be more proud to be releasing Mira’s beautiful film about the universal themes of love and loss within a family. We are all in love with this movie.”
Fox Searchlight has tasted success with Deepa Mehta’s Water grossing $3.5 million in north America, beating the likes of Bollywood biggies Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham, Veer-Zaara, (both doing $3 million at the box office) and even this year’s biggest Rang De Basanti which pocketed $2.2 million.
The film stars Tabu, Irfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Kal Penn, and Zuleikha Robinson and tells the story of the Ganguli couple who settle down in America and their sturggle to cope with the transition. They bear a son and the movie tracks their further struggle to retain their ethnicity in foreign country while he grows up.