Filmmaker plans biopic on Shaolin legend

Paris-based Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin's project Satori is about a Buddhist monk who developed the Shaolin school of martial arts.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 16:33 IST

Paris-based Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin, whose first feature - the visually lush but thematically complex Samsara - had won critical acclaim, is planning a film on Bodhidharma, the legendary Buddhist monk who developed the Shaolin school of martial arts.

The new film Satori, to be shot almost entirely in Thailand, is the story of the life of Bodhidharma and will seek to explore the relationship between Buddhism and martial arts.

Satori, Nalin points out, means somebody who has attained sudden enlightenment.

It will take Nalin's take on religion a step further. Samsara was a study of the link between sex and spirituality. The new film will probe the connection between the divine and the violent.

Samsara had opened the Cinefan Film Festival in New Delhi a few years ago to great critical acclaim. The director is likely to be back at the same festival in July with his second film Valley of Flowers.

"Valley of Flowers is nearly complete barring some minor elements," says Nalin, who shot the film in various high altitude locations in northern India, besides Tokyo.

"It is a love story spanning two centuries. The story begins in 19th century India and ends in present-day Tokyo," he reveals.

Apart from a Japanese actress, the cast of Valley of Flowers features Naseeruddin Shah and Milind Soman in key roles.

The budget of the film is in the region of a whopping Rs 300 million, thanks to the funding that the writer-director received from a multiplicity of sources.

"The Indian financial participation in the film is a meagre Rs 60 lakh (Rs 6 million)," he says.

Valley of Flowers, however, isn't the only reason that has drawn Nalin to the ongoing 59th Cannes Film Festival.

Satori is also in need of a sizeable injection of production funds.

"I am here to negotiate with prospective partners," says the filmmaker.

First Published: May 22, 2006 15:57 IST