India-Pakistan collaboration to market film on Taj Mahal

Thiruvananthapuram: The story of Taj Mahal, one of the world`s seven wonders, will get an animated twist thanks to an Indo-Pak collaboration.

Indian animation major Toonz has begun talks with Pakistan Telecom Company and West Asian media major Al Jazeera to make a film on the eternal love story of Mughal prince Shah Jahan and Mumtaz which resulted in the construction of the marble wonder.

The Indian company based in Technopark here wants a marketing tie-up for the film `Making of Taj`, directed by National award winning film-maker Shyamaprasad, Toonz CEO P Jayakumar told reporters.

The story is being developed by noted script writer Sasi Warrier.

"Taj Mahal is so well known all over the world. But not many know outside India the story behind the grand structure. We want to narrate it for the world. At the same time, we wanted to deviate from the documentary style of story telling and follow a bit more personal line where the building of Taj Mahal is seem through the eyes of a young boy," Jayakumar said.

Pakistan Telecom Company and Saudi-based Al Jazeera Television Network have shown keen interest in marketing the film and the modalities would be finalized soon.

Right now the script is being given the final touches and pre-production work is expected to begin soon. The project has an estimated budget of Rs.20 crore and the movie will be produced in the Technopark studio of Toonz.

Creating the characters for the film would require about 200 animation professionals and the firm is looking to rope in an animation expert from abroad to oversee the production.

The services of a renowned musician would also be sought for doing the background score and foreign actors to lend voices to the characters. The film is expected to be released by 2012 end or by Valentine`s day (February) in 2013.

Last year, Toonz released `Gatturo` in Latin America which has been well-received in countries like Argentina. The film, based on an Argentine comic strip, is to be screened shortly in Mexico and Brazil, Jayakuar said.


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