Stage & Screen
PAANI. Cannes 2010 2010
Acclaimed film director Shekhar Kapur, Swarovski Entertainment and Walk Water celebrate their creative cooperation at the Cannes film Festival with the project announcement of PAANI, which Shekhar Kapur describes as his “passion project”.
For this film Kapur, the director of the Academy Award winning film Elisabeth, draws on a superb range of much-awarded talents on both sides of the camera that are already recognized by both industry peer groups and the public alike. With his characteristic masterly story telling skills, he moulds the team into a homogeneous unit dedicated to the creation of a genre of entertaining storytelling that is thought provoking, contemporary and deeply emotional.
Paani, a story with musical elements that is conceived and directed by Shekhar Kapur, throbs to the compositions of the incredible A R Rahman, Academy Award Winner of “Slumdog Millionaire”. The underlying question that the movie provokes is “What happens when the water runs out?”
Paani vaults the audience into the near future when water wars have broken out. Water has now become the earth’s most scarce resource as large populations migrate in a desperate search of it. Cities that still have water are under siege. Huge multinationals have taken control of the water resources and succumb to pressure from their shareholders to increase the value of their shares on the “water exchanges”, which rival the world’s largest stock exchanges in size and power. Meanwhile, a mega city has been divided into two conflicting halves. The Upper City sucks up all the water and drip feeds the Lower City. The Lower City is a war zone, ruled by ruthless gang lords that are controlled by their bosses in the Upper City. Water is not just the currency; it is now a weapon of social and economic control.
Six days with no water fuels a revolt in the Lower City. The revolutionaries are exposed and killed by their own people in the Lower City, for thirsty people will do anything in exchange for water. This is all about to change.
When the beautiful young daughter of the chairman of the world's largest water corporation is kidnapped by the handsome young water warrior, a dramatic chain of events is set in motion. The result: revolution and ruthlessness, passion and commitment, a young love that is inextricably woven into the fast moving events and the sacrifice of the young lovers to bring water back to the people.
Set against the contrast of a terrifyingly modern future city and the teeming confusion, but inimitable optimism of urban poverty, Paani shows what happens when society is confronted with the struggle for a life-giving and increasingly scarce resource.
Swarovski Entertainment: “Paani is a very special project that beautifully captures the purity of love and the power of water. Being able to amaze and inspire is at the very heart of the Swarovski philosophy and our brand, so it was a natural choice for us to choose film in order to bring this forward. We simply had to join with Shekhar Kapur, a master storyteller, to tell this important and inspiring story.”
Shekhar Kapur: “Water conservation is an important issue for me so this is a film very close to my heart. By working with very natural partners Swarovski Entertainment and Walk Water, we have created a film that raises provocative and profoundly interesting questions about the world’s most precious living organism. And we have done it by creating a very powerful and vivid story.”
Paani, the film, represents the collective passion of Shekhar Kapur, Swarovski Entertainment and Walk Water for quality storytelling and smart entertainment. It also points to their shared commitment to highlight environmental issues that recognize no boundaries and have serious consequences for the entire human race.
Swarovski has long been associated with the entertainment business, not only through international galas like the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards but also with films like Moulin Rouge and the Phantom of the Opera, as well as countless stars of stage and screen. By moving into the medium of film through partnering top-tier players in the entertainment industry, Swarovski Entertainment chooses to amaze and inspire by engaging viewers with exciting stories of a deeper meaning that in turn reflect the emotion and myth behind the brand's long and distinguished tradition.
Shekhar Kapur recently directed the short film “Passage” in Buenos Aires, which heralded Swarovski Entertainment’s entry into film. He also created an installation at Kristallwelten, the Swarovski multimedia museum in Wattens, Austria, based on this film and entitled “Sankalpa”. The installation was unveiled in June of 2009.
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