Producer of Cannes Prizewinner ‘The Shameless’ Boards Female Freedom Fighter Doc ‘Legend of Abbakka’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Producer of Cannes Prizewinner ‘The Shameless’ Boards Female Freedom Fighter Doc ‘Legend of Abbakka’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Mohaan Nadaar’s The Production Headquarters Limited, one of the producers of Cannes-prizewinning film “The Shameless,” has boarded Indian documentary “Legend of Abbakka.”

“The Shameless” was directed by Bulgarian-American filmmaker Konstantin Bojanov and appeared in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival this year. There, Anasuya Sengupta won the best actress award.

Rani Abbakka of Ullal, southern India, a 16th-century warrior-queen, defied the Portuguese Empire, a feat often overlooked in history books. Documentary, “Legend of Abbakka” aims to bring her story to light, using the Yakshagana and Bhuta Kola folk-theater traditions of coastal Karnataka, where Abbakka’s valor is legendary. Ruling over a diverse population, Abbakka united her subjects against foreign invaders and is known for divorcing her treacherous husband. Abbakka’s victories secured a century of peace before European colonization. Since 2001, the Rani Abbakka festival has united Ullal, ending communal strife and honoring her legacy.

“Legend of Abbakka” is one of the projects selected at the inaugural edition of India’s Doc Film Bazaar. Cyrus Khambata and Satavesha Bose, who previously worked together on “Yahaan Sabki Lagi Hai,” will direct and co-produce respectively.

“The epic story of a forgotten 16th century warrior queen told through the folk theater forms of Yakshagana and Bhuta Kola is rather unique and is what attracted me to this project,” Nadaar told Variety.

Khambata added, “I was always fascinated by Rani Abbakka whose heroic efforts against Portuguese colonization is that of victory against all odds, which remains largely ignored by our history books. I believe the time to tell Abbakka’s story was yesterday but, as they say, better late than never.”

Bose said, “Rani Abbakka is an unsung underdog heroine that I came to know through Cyrus, and it is only befitting that I help him realize his dream project that he has been passionate about ever since I have known him.”

“We aspire to inspire young audiences with a stylized expository treatment driven by a gripping narrative drama while inculcating key values of communal harmony, feminist ideals, patriotic fervor and compassionate virtues that resonate with popular sentiments,” Bose says in her producer’s statement.