By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES ACQUIRES REMAKE RIGHTS TO THE BENGALI DETECTIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Specialty Arm Acquires Worldwide Remake Rights

PARK CITY, UT January 24, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis announced today that the company has acquired worldwide remake rights from Native Voice Films to the entertaining original feature documentary, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, directed by Philip Cox and produced by Giovanna Stopponi, Annie Sundberg and Himesh Kar.

“We adored this film and are delighted to have the chance to work with such entertaining, funny material. We were charmed by this story of a dedicated husband and self-made detective who dreams big,” said Lewis.

“We are thrilled that Fox Searchlight has fallen in love with our leading man Rajesh and his wild adventures as a detective in Kolkata.  Fox Searchlight has an amazing track record of bringing stories set in India to a worldwide audience, and we are excited to be sharing this journey with them,” said director Phil Cox and The Bengali Detective team.

In THE BENGALI DETECTIVE, Calcutta’s criminal underworld is explored by intrepid private eye Rajesh Ji.  Following both his investigations and Rajesh’s pursuit of his dream to dance on Indian TV, THE BENGALI DETECTIVE provides a look at modern India through the eyes of one of its most unlikely heroes.

The deal was brokered on Fox Searchlight’s side by Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien with Andrew Hurwitz of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP on behalf of Native Voice Films.  Creative Executive Richard Gold will oversee development for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures.  It has its own marketing and distribution operations.  Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES A UNIT OF FOX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT

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You worked as second AD on Jerry Lewis’ The Day the Clown Cried,  about a clown entertaining Jewish children in a WW II concentration camp. 
Yes, and I never saw the film. I was just the second assistant and it was an incredible fairytale for me, to work with Jerry Lewis. Jerry Lewis, along with Louis de Funes—who, by the way, had a very similar career to Jerry Lewis. He was a huge comic in France, but never, ever until now, 20 years after his death, recognized as a great actor. But they both made me laugh as a child. Jerry Lewis did everything: he did stand-up. He could act. He could sing and dance. He’s a photographer. He’s a director. And his films, when you look at them, are extremely daring and inventive. So he was someone that I wanted to emulate, in a way. The cinematographer of the film, Edmond Richard, who had shot a film I worked on directed by Rene Clement, called Hope to Die, with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Aldo Ray and Robert Ryan. It was like I had been invited to the court of Queen Elizabeth. It felt like a real achievement. I tried to work as hard as possible, and be very speedy. Like the weather, you don’t wait for somebody to ask. The moment the director says “I would like to have a…” you know what needs and get it for him. The greatest moment on that set for me was, one day Jerry Lewis got really upset with his crew, and went off on them, saying “You’re all too lazy. You don’t work hard enough. There’s only one guy who understands!” And he pointed to me. I only worked on the film for 15 days, at the circus in Paris. I never heard a thing about it after. I knew it was bogged down in lawsuits after it was finished, but it was an important moment in my professional life. I worked with a lot of amazing people before I directed my first film. I was an assistant director for twelve years. It was a great training ground, watching those masters work. I have many great memories. I started making films very late, you know.”
~ Jean-Jacques Beineix

“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh