Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has added a film on Empress Elisabeth of Austria to the growing list of projects he is working on. After directing the Oscar-nominated Elizabeth (1998), starring Cate Blanchett, Kapur will be directing a German film on the life of the Austrian royal and wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
The upcoming film will be based on a musical by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay on the Empress Elisabeth, also known as Sissi. The filmmaker is attending the third edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao to attend a screening of his National Award-winning film Bandit Queen (1994). The film will be presented in the Director’s Choice section by Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce on 13 December.
Besides the film on Empress Elisabeth, Kapur is also working to acquire the rights of author Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy which explores the opium trade between India and China in the 19th century. He is also developing two more biopics, including Little Dragon, a biopic on young Bruce Lee, growing up in 1950s Hong Kong, and another on the late Sheikh Zayed, the former president of the United Arab Emirates.
Kapur, who headed this year’s jury at the National Film Awards, is also an honorary scholar researching new forms of storytelling in virtual reality and artificial intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.
The India presence is strong at Macao film festival this year. Actress Tillotama Shome is part of the official programme jury along with filmmaker Chen Kaige, directors Mabel Cheung, Paul Currie and Danis Tanovic. Besides Bandit Queen (1994), Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Hai (2019) and Tumbbad (2018) are also screening at the festival. Vasan, along with lead actress Radhika Madan, will be present for the film’s screening.
The third edition of the festival, with a theme of ‘A New Avenue to the World of Films’, is being held from 8 to 14 December.