EXCLUSIVE: Das Films, Myriad Pictures and Bowery Hills Entertainment’s dance pic Heartbeats has just begun production in India ahead of the start of sales at the EFM in Berlin. Professional dancer Krystal Ellsworth (Fame, Iron Man 2), Indian actor Amitash Pradhan and Paul McGillion and Daphne Zuniga are headlining the cast. Step Up creator Duane Adler wrote the script and is directing. Check out the first-look photos above and below.
Heartbeats tells the story of Kelli (Ellsworth), a feisty American hip hop dancer who travels to India with her parents (McGillion and Zuniga) for a week-long Indian wedding and falls in love — both with a new style of dance and with a determined young man who introduces it to her (Pradhan).
Jay Z’s Roc Nation is producing the soundtrack’s original songs alongside composer Gingger Shankar, an Oscar nominee for The Passion Of The Christ. The soundtrack will feature traditional and current Indian music and American hip-hop and R&B. Emmy Winning Dancing With The Stars choreographer Tessandra Chavez is the supervising choreographer and Shampa Gopikrishna is choreographer for the Indian dancing. While not classified specifically as a Bollywood film, this should have appeal for fans of the genre which increasingly span the globe.
Justin Chon (Twilight) and India’s Salman Yussuf Khan (ABCD), Kishori Shahane and Mohan Kapur round out the cast. Adler, who wrote and created the dance movies Step Up and Step Up 2, most recently wrote and directed Make Your Move for Lionsgate.
November Man‘s Sriram Das is producing with Andrea Chung (Seoul Searching), and Karine Martin (Maina). Myriad Pictures is selling international rights to the project in Berlin, with the company’s Kirk D’Amico executive producing.
The film is co-financed by Dance Network, whose founder Julie Stadler and CEO Brian Williams will serve as executive producers. Dance Network recently acquired and launched Skyway Studios in Nashville.
Adler is repped by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment. Ellsworth is repped by Abrams Artists and Archetype.