Siddharth Roy Kapur has signed director Vinil Mathew and screenwriter Sudip Sharma for his next film to be produced under the Roy Kapur Films banner.

Mathew is a renowned ad filmmaker who made his feature film debut with the acclaimed new-age romance, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ (2014). Sudip Sharma is the acclaimed writer of ‘NH10’ (2015) and ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016), and is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost screenwriters in the country.

Roy Kapur confirmed the news, “Yes, we will be collaborating with Vinil and Sudip on a unique and exciting subject that our team has been developing for many months. The film is based on true events involving piracy on the Somalian high seas and is told through the eyes of a young Indian merchant navy officer, who has to navigate through unimaginably perilous circumstances, while dealing with huge personal challenges. It is a thrilling, dramatic and emotional journey, and we couldn’t have asked for a better director than Vinil Mathew to tell this story. Vinil’s work in advertising is amongst the most accomplished I have ever seen. He has a unique ability to move you emotionally and to draw you into a narrative within the span of less than a minute. To have Sudip on board as screenwriter for the film is a huge advantage, as he unfailingly creates memorable characters, inhabits them in authentic worlds, and in the process creates strong conflicts and riveting drama.”

When Roy Kapur first heard the true story of merchant navy officer Audumbar Bhoi whose ship and crew was attacked by Somalian pirates, he was gripped and immediately felt that this was an incredibly unique and above all, an inspiring human story that needed to be told on the big screen.

Mathew said, “I have immense respect for Siddharth and his creative vision which is evident in the films he has produced over the past decade. I have been looking forward to working with him and when Siddharth shared this story with me, I instinctively knew I had to be associated with the film as it had all the right ingredients of emotion, drama and thrill. I am thrilled about our collaboration and I’m sure it will be a great experience. We hope to give the audiences a truly special film.”

Sharma said “I am normally wary of writing commissioned scripts for producers, but Sid gives you a lot of creative freedom and lets you do your thing. I developed a film for Disney when Sid was there, and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with him creatively. We’ve been meaning to work again with each other since, and when he pitched this story to me, I just jumped at it because it has the potential to be a tense hostage drama cum survival story, and lets you explore Somalia and maritime piracy, a world hitherto unseen in Hindi films.”

Over the past few months, Matthew and Sharma have conducted intensive research on the Indian merchant navy life, as well as on the Somali piracy problem and its impact on the many Indian families that have been affected by it.

It is anticipated that the film will go on the floors in the second half of 2018.