Roopa Saini, our former PhD student, has co-developed Mara Pictures, a film distribution company whose focus is to bring some of the most inspiring and innovating cinematic explorations in today’s international market to the forefront of UK cinema culture.
Mara Pictures was inspired by a passion to provide a platform for both international and domestic independent filmmakers to showcase their films across the UK, and now in its fourth year has acquired its most commercial film yet: The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is currently in cinemas across the UK. Adapted from the novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, the film is directed by Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding) and stars British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed in the lead role. The A list cast includes Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Om Puri, Shahbana Azmi and Meesha Shafi.
The film tells the story of Changez, an ambitious young man whose identity pivots between a glittering stockbroker career in the Big Apple and his home culture thousands of miles away in Lahore, Pakistan.
Roopa is responsible for Acquisitions and Sales for Mara Pictures. Roopa has worked in the independent film sector for several years as a festival coordinator for the London Asian Film Festival Tongues on Fire, and with exhibitors like Bafta and ICA to bring global films to cinemas across the UK. Her professional and academic background in film and media inspired her to co-develop Mara Pictures as a leading pulse of foreign independent cinema.