Rupak Mann, the winner of Channel 4۪s 2004 Bollywood Star talent competition, is looking to raise finance to co-produce and star in an Asian crossover film, Swimmer. Rupak is looking to raise up to 1.6 million from a public share offering in her company Dreamfollower Productions PLC.

Rupak has been developing the concept for Swimmer since 2002. She was inspired to make the film by her experiences in Mumbai, while filming her part in Nazar in the autumn of 2004, her prize for winning Bollywood Star. Nazar was creatively controlled by Mahesh Bhatt, the sole judge for the final round. Mahesh was impressed by Rupak۪s acting ability both in Bollywood Star and Nazar.

Dreamfollower Productions has been formed to develop and produce Asian cross-over films, Swimmer being the first. Following the release of Swimmer, Dreamfollower will aim to develop further projects which deal with core human themes with an inspirational and innovative nature. The Dreamfollower team are looking to follow the success of other cross-over films such as Bend it like Beckham, Monsoon Wedding and East is East.

Set in India, Swimmer tells the story of a girl who once dreamt of becoming an Olympic swimmer. Just as she is on the brink of achieving her dreams, her mother, who has supported her daughter۪s ambition throughout, unexpectedly dies. Viewers join Rupak۪s character ten years later, and find her overweight, unenthused and beaten in her day to day life until fate forces her to confront her inner and outer demons and swim once again follow her dreams.

Audiences will see Rupak lose almost half of her body weight as the film progresses. Rupak will be carrying out the weight loss for real; during breaks in filming via a strict diet and exercise programme, with Indian ayurvedic massages and remedies. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system which involves partaking in yoga, meditation, massage with essential oils and eating only whole foods to cleanse and heal the body.

Filming of Swimmer is scheduled to commence September 2006, for release in Autumn 2007. Swimmer has been in pre-production since January 2006 with Fish Eye Network, a company set up by Pooja Bhatt.

It۪s been an absolute pleasure working with Rupak on the pre-production of Swimmer_.

All of us at Fish Eye Network truly wish that she is successful in raising the funds in order for this unique venture of hers, with its unusual storyline, to see the light of day.

I wish her all the best and look forward to synergising with her in the near future.” – Pooja Bhatt, Mumbai, 5th April 2006.