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Asif Kapadia, Oscar Winner for ‘Amy,’ to Direct Feature Film ‘Moth Smoke’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/18/2017 Naman Ramachandran
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Asif Kapadia, who won an Oscar for “Amy” and a BAFTA for “Senna,” will re-team with actor Irrfan Khan on an adaptation of the novel “Moth Smoke” by Pakistan-born author Mohsin Hamid.

Khan, Kapadia and independent producer Dina Dattani (executive producer on “Bombay Velvet”) acquired the rights to the novel. Kapadia will direct and co-write. Dattani will introduce the film to buyers in Cannes.

Set in 1998 against the backdrop of nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, the Lahore-based novel follows Darashikoh Shehzad, a social misfit who begins an affair with his best friend’s wife.

Khan, who starred in Kapadia’s “The Warrior,” will play Shehzad. Other cast members will be decided in the coming months.

“I have been eagerly waiting for something on which I could work with Asif again, and ‘Moth Smoke’ excites both of us,” Khan said. “We believe it can be set in contemporary times.”

Given the ongoing political tension between India and Pakistan, it is not immediately clear where the film will be shot. “It is too early to decide on location. We will consider both Pakistan and India for the shoot,” said Dattani.

Kapadia is currently working on the documentary “Maradona.” He is attached to direct an adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel “Number9Dream” and Rolls Royce tale “Silver Ghost”.

Khan’s “Hindi Medium,” directed by Saket Chaudhary, is due to be released Thursday. His upcoming films include Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “No Bed of Roses” and Anup Singh’s “The Song of Scorpions.”

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