Dr. Vijay Mallya presents:
Produced by: Ashvin Kumar, Judith James
Written and directed by Ashvin Kumar.
More than 150 people are killed in leopard or tiger attacks in India every year due to rising poaching and encroachment on wildlife preserves. Such animals turn into man-eaters. This film is about a wounded leopard, whose only chance for survival is to hunt human beings.
A couple from a big city is on vacation in the Indian jungle to sort out a troubled marriage when they run into the wife's ex-lover. As husband and lover lock horns for the woman, they turn blind to the lurking presence of a starving leopard that has been shot by poachers and cannot hunt his normal prey. Desperate for a kill, he turns on the weakest animal in the jungle — man. A night of terror is unleashed by an animal that has almost started to think like man.
“I decided to make my debut feature a suspense thriller that also was based on dramatic relationships,” noted Ashvin in a press note.
"The danger posed by the leopard is heightened in this story because we come to know the characters before the leopard appears. A man-eating tiger is not as dangerous as a man-eating leopard, because the leopard is a smaller, sneaky animal, that rarely allows itself to be spotted — it comes at you through the shadows. It can climb onto roofs, trees and attack its prey from the ground or from above. When a leopard becomes a veteran man-eater it begins to think like us human beings. It is unnerving to consider that it actually learns our way. The behavior of the leopard was inspired by the stories of Jim Corbett, in particular ‘The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag.’”
Ashvin was introduced to the jungles by a trip to Jim Corbett National Park in 1998. Since then he is a regular visitor to national parks all over India and rest of the world, and has been raised on a diet of books by hunter turned conservationists like Jim Corbett and F.W. Champion. His love for the wilderness is tempered by dismay at its gradual disappearance.
“The message of conservation comes through in the thriller - the fact that animals are fighting for survival in our jungles underscores the idea that human beings have become prey. The animal is both a victim and the aggressor. That was the challenge in writing and directing ‘The Forest.’”
Also written and edited by Ashvin, whose debut short “Little Terrorist” was awarded and acclaimed the world over, the film has Markus Heursch as its DOP, music by Matt Robertson, sound design by Roland Heap, special effects by Guilliame Castagne and wildlife photography by Naresh and Rajesh Bedi.
Jaaved Jaaferi, Ankur Vikal (of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame), Nandana Sen, Saleem Ali Zaidi (from “Little Terrorist”) and Tarun Kumar are in the cast.