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The first clapperboard slams for Taj Mahal by Nicolas Saada

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- Stacy Martin, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Gina McKee and Alba Rohrwacher are among the cast of this thriller shot in India and produced by Agat Films/Ex Nihilo

The first clapperboard slams for Taj Mahal by Nicolas Saada
Stacy Martin

Having turned many heads with Espion(s) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which was nominated for the César Award for Best Debut in 2010, former critic Nicolas Saada is in India in order to get the shoot under way tomorrow for his second feature film: the ambitious thriller Taj Mahal [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nicolas Saada
film profile
]
. Based on the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai that shook the city to its very core, the film boasts a truly international cast that includes young Franco-British revelation Stacy Martin (nominated for the Bodil Award for Best Actress in 2014 for Nymphomaniac [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Louise Vesth
film profile
]
), French actor Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Father of My Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Mia Hansen-Løve
film profile
]
), British actress Gina McKee (who gained popularity in the French production Jimmy P. [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Arnaud Desplechin
film profile
]
) and Italy’s Alba Rohrwacher (winner of the Best Actress Award this year at Venice for Hungry Hearts [+see also:
trailer
film focus
interview: Saverio Costanzo
film profile
]
).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

“Nicolas Saada urged me to get on board because I had been in India shortly before, filming Michel Spinosa’s His Wife [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
,” producer Patrick Sobelman told Cineuropa. “I loved the screenplay for Taj Mahal – I read it in one hour, in one sitting, which is a very good sign. It’s a very ambitious thriller, but if you want what works on paper to work just as well on screen, you have to be very accurate; you have to have ways and means, a vision, the right actors and special effects. It’s a difficult film to make, but it’s always very exciting to work with a new director,” explains the producer, who is known for his loyalty towards filmmakers (Lucas Belvaux, Solveig Anspach, Michel Spinosa, Marina de Van and Isabelle Czajka, for instance).

Written by the director himself, the story of Taj Mahal revolves around Louise, an 18-year-old girl who is leaving with her family to go to India, where her father has just got a job. She decides to tag along with her parents in order to share in their adventure, and when she gets there, she starts a course at a film school. While they are waiting to move into their new house, the family is initially put up in a suite in the luxurious Taj Mahal hotel. Louise is both fascinated and intimidated by her contact with this new culture. One evening, while her parents are out having dinner in the city, she is alone in her bedroom and starts to hear strange noises coming from the hotel corridors. Within minutes she realises that a terrorist attack is under way. Her only link to the outside world is her phone, which allows her to stay in contact with her father, who desperately tries to reach her in a city plunged into chaos. Every minute counts: the hotel is swiftly turned into a huge booby-trap for its residents. Alone in the face of danger, Louise will have to survive a long night that will change her life forever.

Produced by Patrick Sobelman for Agat Films & Cie/Ex Nihilo, Taj Mahal is co-produced by France 3 Cinéma. Having been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature is also supported by the advance on receipts of the CNC and by Backup Films. The filming schedule includes a three-week shoot in India and five weeks of shooting in a studio in the Paris region. Distribution in France and international sales will be handled by Bac Films.

Interestingly, next week Patrick Sobelman will also be kicking off the shoot for Solveig Anspach’s L'effet aquatique [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (read the article).

(Translated from French)

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