First Australia India Film Fund film rolls
With an all star cast and crew, Unindian – the first feature of the recently established Australia India Film Fund (AIFF) – has commenced shooting in Sydney and around NSW.
Starring internationally acclaimed actress Tannishtha Chatterjee (Siddarth, Brick Lane) and Brett Lee in his first lead role, Unindian also features Australian Bollywood star Pallavi Sharda (Besharam, My Name is Khan, Heroine), Bollywood Star finalists Sarah Roberts (Felony, Neighbours) and Sharon Johal, with Indian theatre and film icons including Gulshan Grover (I am Kalam, Desperate Endeavours), Supriya Pathak (Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, Wake Up Sid, Gandhi) and Akash Khurana (Barfi, Sarfarosh).
Written by Thushy Saathi, the romantic comedy is being directed by Anupam Sharma, presented by Devendra Gupta, produced by Anupam Sharma and Lisa Duff (Last Cab To Darwin), executive produced by Chandru Tolani, filmed by Martin McGrath (Muriel’s Wedding, Killing Time) and edited by Marcus D’Arcy (Lorenzo’s Oil, Babe) with support from the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and UNSW Australia (University of New South Wales). Film Finances Australasia is providing the completion guarantee/bond.
When a beautiful divorcee and single mother of one, Meera (Tannishtha Chatterjee), meets the charismatic Will (Brett Lee), love is the last thing on her mind. An Australian of Indian origin, Meera has settled in Sydney and carved out a successful career and life for both her and her daughter. But Meera's marital status is subject of much discussion within her family, and she is encouraged on a seemingly daily basis to marry 'a nice Indian man’. Does she do as her family wishes? … Or does she follow her heart and live her life the way she wants to? Highlighting the complexities of Indian diaspora and wooing another from a different culture, UNINDIAN is a romantic comedy with a lot of heart!
Director/producer Anupam Sharma said “I am humbled to be working with a dream cast and crew who are the best from India and Australia, and honoured to be shooting in NSW using all the beautiful locations my home state has to offer.”
Brett Lee said “I am honoured to have been cast as a lead in the first Australia India Film Fund film, privileged to be working with Anupam Sharma and humbled to be working with an actress of the calibre of Tannishtha Chatterjee.”
Tannishtha Chatterjee said “Unindian is unique. It is a very Australian film with Indian colours and flavours. I love the script and I am super excited to work with Anupam Sharma and his entire team. And Brett Lee … What can I say? Look forward to having a blast, Brett.”
Founder and CEO of the Australia India Film Fund, Devendra Gupta said: “"AIFF was formed with the vision of creating high quality cross cultural productions. Unindian is a very special film bringing Australian and Indian cultures together. We are proud to be producing our first film in our home city and supporting the local film industry.”
UNSW’s Vice-President of Advancement Jennie Lang said, “The University is excited to support and feature in this film produced and directed by one of our talented alumni, Anupam Sharma.”
About AUSTRALIA INDIA FILM FUND
The first of its kind in the world, the Australia India Film Fund was established in Sydney in 2013 to invest in Australian films with Indian themes for a global audience.
About BRETT LEE
Renowned as one of the most dynamic fast bowlers of recent cricket history, Brett Lee made his debut for Australia in the Boxing Day Test against India 1999. He finished his first match for his country with figures of 5/47. He picked up 310 wickets from 76 Tests, joining the elite 300 Test wicket club before retiring from Test cricket early in 2010 to concentrate on the shorter forms of the game. Brett’s career highlights include the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year 2000, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2006, Australian Test Player of the Year 2008 and the prestigious Allan Border Medal 2008 for the Australian Cricketer of the Year.
Cricket has taken Brett to India where he enjoyed six seasons of IPL cricket, three seasons with Punjab Kings X1, based in Chandigarh, and three seasons with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Brett is an ambassador for the Cricket Education Program, which focuses on high quality coaching sessions developed by Cricket Australia and the Cricket India Academy for children 9-14 years and plays an active role when he can.
His long association with India, saw him make his feature film debut as Brett Lee, Cricketer in the Bollywood film Victory. Brett also co-wrote the lyrics and appeared in the music video for Asha Bhosie’s single You’re the One. The single went to the top of the Indian music charts. In May 2011 Brett launched Mewsic, opening the first of many planned music centres in Govandi, Mumbai, ensuring that disadvantaged children in India have the opportunity to experience the joy and power of music. In his downtime, Brett plays occasionally with his band White Shoe Theory and has written a number of songs with his music partner, Mick Vawdon.
About TANNISHTHA CHATTERJEE
One of India’s prominent actresses, Tannishtha Chatterjee gained international attention for her performance in Sarah Gavron’s celebrated feature Brick Lane, which saw her nominated as Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards alongside Judi Dench and Anne Hathaway. Her other notable works include Academy award-winning German director Forian Gallenberger’s Shadows of Time, Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, Bombay Summer for which she won Best Actress in New York Indian Film Festival, Dekh Indian Circus for which she won Best Actress in a number of film festivals including the National Film Award, Monsoon Shootout which was in Official Selection in Cannes amongst other major festivals, and Siddharth which was in Official Selection in Venice and Toronto amongst other major festivals.
About ANUPAM SHARMA
A filmmaker and Australia’s leading international expert on Indian cinema, Anupam Sharma was named as one of the 50 most influential film professionals in the Australian film industry. With Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in films and theatre, Anupam heads films & casting TEMPLE based out of Fox Studios – Sydney. The award winning production company has pioneered Australia India film links with over 200 projects related to films in the last decade. Anupam also founded An Australian Film Initiative to promote Australian films in non traditional markets, was the judge of Australia’s first reality show Bollywood Star on SBS, and last year asked to direct one of the largest advertising campaigns for India by the NSW government. He has been appointed an Australia Day Ambassador in both 2013 and 2014 in recognition of his work between the Indian and Australian film industries.