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Shekhar Kapur shooting slums for 'Paani'

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS

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Director Shekhar Kapur's new passion is shooting the slums of Mumbai with a still camera.

Researching for his new epic "Paani", Kapur is shooting the skyscrapers and the slums of India's business capital, which is home also to Asia's largest shantytown, Dharavi.

Kapur is taking 180-degree shots, sweeping his camera from the swank neighbourhoods to the slums to see the yawning difference between the areas.

"'Paani' is going to be about the stark differences," Kapur told IANS. He is in Delhi at the moment, taking care of his ill father.

Kapur has joined hands with "The Lord of the Rings" producer Barrie Osbourne to make the $20 million epic set in a Mumbai 20 years hence, when the water wars are beginning.

"Barrie was telling me that we should work on a project together and I wanted to get over with 'Paani' first," said Kapur. "He asked me about 'Paani' and I told him the concept. He said why not work on this. So here we are."

In the film, Mumbai is divided into the upper city and the lower city. The upper city is where 15 percent of the elite, super-rich population lives, and the rest live in the lower city, divided by a maze of flyovers.

The people of the upper city suck up all the water and have no links with the lower city. The lower city people work almost as slaves to the upper city.

Kapur believes it will be Hindi cinema's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

Osbourne, producer of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that created box office history by winning 11 Oscars, also has to his credit the "Matrix" trilogy and "Face Off". His films have made more than $2 billion across the world.

"Paani" has been co-written by Andrew Niccol, who won an Oscar for "The Truman Show". Production design is by John Mhyre, an Oscar award-winner for "Chicago", and the film will be edited by Jill Bilcock, who has edited films such as "Romeo and Juliet", "Elizabeth", "Moulin Rouge" and was recently nominated for an Oscar for the film "Road to Perdition". The music is by A.R. Rahman.


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