Michel Fessler, co-writer of “Little Nicholas,” selected at Cannes this year as a special screening, has boarded Ravi K. Chandran’s “Tamara” as scriptwriter.

Based on a story by Paris-based playwright and actor Vasanth Selvam (“Dheepan”), the film will follow 26-year-old Indian origin woman Tamara from Camargue in the south of France, who seeks her roots in the southern Indian territory Pondicherry, which was once a French colony. In parallel narratives, the film will trace the emotional turmoil of Tamara and two other women.

The film is fully financed and being produced by Indian companies Sithara Entertainments (“Bheemla Nayak”), Pawan Kalyan Creative Works (“Sardaar Gabbar Singh”) and Fortune Four Cinemas (“Sir”). Producers include Trivikram Srinivas, Nagavamsi S., and Sai Soujanya.

It is co-produced by Samir Sarkar for Singapore and India based Magic Hour Films (Rotterdam titles “Nasir” and “Jonaki”).

The agreement with Fessler was negotiated at the Cannes Film Market by Chandran and Sarkar. A poster for the project was also unveiled.

Fessler told Variety that he has always been drawn to India’s ancient culture, traditional dance forms, cinema and music. He has previously co-written the screenplays for films set in the region, “Hanuman” (1998) and “”Alexandra David-Neel: I Want To Go To The Land Of Snow” (2012).

“The experience was inspiring and adventurous and this is why I am excited to work this time with a talented Indian director and bring to the table my experience as a European screenplay writer to an Indian story which is extremely beautiful, emotional and human,” said Fessler. “It’s always an honor and a pleasure to discover new avenues and on this occasion with an Indian director and Indian producers.”

Chandran is one of India’s top cinematographers whose credits include “Dil Chahta Hai,” “Black,” “My Name is Khan” and “Kannathil Muthamittal.” His last film as director was “Bhramam,” the Malayalam-language remake of “Andhadhun.”

For “Tamara,” Chandran is planning to work with an all-female French crew. “I wanted to tell this story from a genuinely women’s point of view and get their perspective of India, and I’ll add my perspective of France,” Chandran tells Variety, adding that the script is mostly in French. He has also decided not to shoot the film himself and will leave the camera decisions to the woman DoP who will be hired on the project.

“A relationship broken before it could blossom, connected only through loss. For me, ‘Tamara’ reinstates humankind’s relentless pursuit of hope despite all odds,” Srinivas told Variety.

The film will be shot on location in Camargue and Pondicherry over summer, winter and fall.


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