‘Downton Abbey’ Director Philip John Boards Toronto Financing Forum Project ‘Arrangements of Love’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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BAFTA-winning Welsh director Philip John, whose credits include “Downton Abbey” and “The Good Karma Hospital,” will direct “Arrangements of Love,” the sole Asian project selected at the Toronto International Financing Forum, which sits alongside the Toronto film festival.

The film is an adaptation of the bestselling 2004 novel of the same title by Indian author Timeri N. Murari (“The Taliban Cricket Club”) by John and British Sri Lankan actor Nimmi Harasgama, who played the female lead in Deepa Mehta’s “Funny Boy” and is a series regular on “The Good Karma Hospital.”

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“Arrangements of Love” follows a Welsh-Indian man on his quest to find his estranged father with an impromptu visit to his homeland.

“’The Arrangements of Love’ is an intricate and subtle exploration of love; quirky and oddball it tells of the characters all looking for something – and hidden under their stories is the search for love, in its many guises,” said Murari. “Love, after all, is the raft we all cling to in this very lonely sea in which we exist. Without it, everything else is meaningless.”

The film is produced by Sunitha Tati’s Indian outfit Guru Films, whose “Oh! Baby,” the 2019 Telugu-language adaptation of 2014 Korean film “Miss Granny,” was a commercial success.

“Having traveled with this book for over 15 years and seeing this dream project come to life has been a remarkable journey,” said Tati. “It has been an enriching experience to kick off this journey with the expressive and all-knowing Timeri, the writer of the book.”

The film will be in English and will be shot in Wales and India. Guru Films has already signed post-production deals with U.K. outfits Gelert TV and Bang Post Production. Deian Humphreys (“Doctor Who”) will provide the sound design.

The International Financing Forum is Ontario Creates’ feature film co-financing and co-production event companion to the Toronto International Film Festival, where selected international and Canadian producers are brought together with international sales agents, U.S. distributors, agents, equity financiers and executive producers for brokered meetings and networking opportunities. Unlike the festival, which is a hybrid of in-person and online screenings, the IFF will be held entirely online this year. “Arrangements of Love” is one of 41 selected this year.

“Exploring culture and identity within this screenplay has been my favorite part of the collaborative work with Philip John,” said Harasgama.

John’s feature debut “Moon Dogs” (2016) was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for best British feature film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and won awards at the Galway, Mannheim-Heidelberg and Newport Beach festivals.

“Both Nimmi and I are thrilled that our project, into which we have poured the most vital of our internal organs, has been chosen to attend this distinguished TIFF forum,” said John. “My very first short film was a father–son story, and I am beyond excited that my second feature length movie will return to this arena.”

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