Leading Indian Film Director Dev Benegal and leading British Actor-Director Stephen Fry announce international feature film on genius Indian mathematician Ramanujan.
UK’s leading actor and director Stephen Fry, well known as the voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks and the leading Indian writer-director Dev Benegal are collaborating on a feature film on the life of the genius Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his friendship with the Cambridge mathematician G.H. Hardy.
Much like the story of Ramanujan and Hardy both Fry and Benegal had for years unknown to one another dreamt of making a film on this amazing friendship across cultures and continents.
It was at Cambridge that Stephen Fry came to learn about Ramanujan and G.H. Hardy. It was the amazing story of Ramanujan’s journey and his friendship with the Cambridge math don G.H. Hardy that fueled Fry’s passion to tell the this story on the large screen. Director Dev Benegal’s passion to tell this story dates back some 20 years when he traveled the entire length of the river Kaveri in a small round boat made of dried palm leaves and came past the towns of Erode and Kumbakonam where Ramanujan was born and studied. The story has haunted him for years but never found any interest amongst the Indian film community. For them Ramanujan’s work and ideas are the DNA of what powers digital technology today.
An accidental encounter in 2005 led to Fry and Benegal discovering their passion. Within a few meetings Fry & Benegal had found their calling and a big screen version of this story is going to see the light of day.
Fry & Benegal are co-writing and co-directing this motion picture, which will be a co-production between India & the UK. Stephen Fry is in India for the official signing of the India-UK Film Co-production treaty.
They expect to meet President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam & Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on March 20.th
Dev Benegal & Stephen Fry will be available in New Delhi for interviews on March 20th and in Bombay on March 22nd & 23rd.
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About Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry was born in 1957 and educated at Cambridge University where he met and worked with amongst others, Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie, a life long friend and comedy partner. Fry’s first play Latin! Received a Scotsman fringe first award and has subsequently been performed around the country. The Footlights revue he wrote and performed with Thompson, Laurie and Tony Slattery was televised by the BBC. There followed Alfresco, a comedy series for Granada (along with Laurie, Thompson, Ben Elton and Robbie Coltrane) three series of Blackadder with Rowan Atkinson (and Hugh Laurie again), four series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie with Hugh Laurie (both for the BBC) and also with Hugh, four series of Jeeves and Wooster for Granada TV and WGBH Boston.
He hosts the BBC quiz show QI, has completed two series of Absolute Power with John Bird for the BBC and appeared in numerous single dramas for television, including most recently Tom Brown’s Schoolboys.
As a stage actor he performed in Alan Bennett’s Forty Years On, Michael Frayn’s Look, Look, Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit and Cell Mates (a run cut inexplicably short). He won a Drama Circle award and a Tony Nomination for his work on the revived musical Me and My Girl which ran for years and years on Broadway and in the West End.
As an actor his award winning performances have been in Peter’s Friends, Wilde and Gosford Park. In 2003 he wrote and directed Bright Young Things his first feature.
He has written four best-selling novels, the latest being a book on poetry An Ode Less Travelled, an autobiography ‘Moab is My Washpot.’
Stephen Fry is well-known amongst a younger generation as the reader of the audiobook versions of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.
About Dev Benegal
Director / Writer / Editor
Dev Benegal’s first feature English, August (1994) ignited the next generation of Indian cinema and is acknowledged as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema. A humorous and irreverent study of bureaucracy and the Indian Generation X, English, August won the Silver Grand Prix and the Gilberto Martinez Solares prize for the Best First Film at the Festival des 3 continents, Nantes and the Special Jury Award at the Torino International Film Festival.
English, August became the first Indian independent film to break the stranglehold of mainstream Indian Bollywood cinema when it was acquired by 20thCentury Fox and became a theatrical success in the country. This has set of a trend of movies, which are part of the next generation of Indian cinema.
Split Wide Open Dev Benegal’s second feature film is about globalization and the war for water. The Official Selection at the Venice International Film Festival the film also won the Grand Prix at the Turnhout, Belgium International Film Festival 2000, the Best Actor and Special Jury Award at the Singapore International Film Festival 2000.
His screenplay for Ravan & Eddie was the first Indian script to be selected for the famous eQuinoxe tbc script workshops in France.
Benegal’s films are set in contemporary India. An India most people never see on film. The strength of his films has been their humor, his characters and his unique style combining Indian narrative and western genre. His films are about people caught between many cultures, speaking seventeen languages and still making sense.
Benegal is acknowledged as a pioneer in digital technology; his passion for technology and movies saw the birth of his pioneering production program 24×7 Making Movies™. Benegal has produced over 60 short feature films in the 24×7 Making Movies™ program, which invites anyone below 24 years to make a short feature film in 24hours. Variety and the Cannes International Film Festival have acclaimed the films.
He is also script advisor to the world famous eQuinoxe tbc script workshops in Europe.