Studio 18 signs on Mira Nair’s protege


MUMBAI: Studio 18 has signed a co-production and presentation deal with filmmaker Mira Nair’s protégée Sooni Taraporewala.

Taraporewala, who has written the screenplays for all of Nair’s films, including the forthcoming The Namesake, will be soon making her directorial debut with a film titled Little Zizou.

This is the first uncommissioned script Taraporewala has written in 20 years, she says. “The script developed very organically and quickly within 10 days, because I didn’t have to follow a blueprint,” she adds.

Little Zizou is about Mumbai seen through the eyes of a child who loves football, hence the title. “The film is an ensemble of unique characters pursuing their own dreams; it is about faith and hope, pain and loss, love and laughter,” says the debutante director.

Studio 18 CEO Sandeep Bhargava adds, “This film will be made on a budget of Rs 75 million (Rs.

7.5 crore). It will be targeted primarily at the international audience and festivals. The casting is being finalised. The project is likely to commence within 45 days.”

The film will be jointly produced by Studio 18 and Jigri Dost production founded by Sooni and her childhood friend Dinaz Stafford. The film will be ready for release by 2008.