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Singularity is singularly troubled
By Patrick Frater
Thu, 02 February 2012, 14:59 PM (HKT)
Big-budget multinational film Singularity (2012) has become locked in a series of legal and financial disputes.
The $28 million Roland JOFFÉ-directed film stars India's Bipasha BASU (pictured) and Abhay DEOL, as well as Josh HARTNETT and Neve CAMPBELL from the US. It was shot in India, Australia and the UK and is structured as an Australia-UK co-production.
Australian magazine Inside Film reports that the movie's Australian special purpose vehicle Singularity Productions Pty Ltd has been placed in court administration and that Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants is now winding up the company. It reports that over $15 million is owed to creditors including the Australian Tax Office.
Until the financial mess can be sorted out it is unclear how the film can be completed. Large quantities of the footage have been locked up as surety in Queensland, where the film shot for several weeks in late 2010, Film Business Asia has learned.
However, until the film is completed it cannot qualify for Australia's location attraction incentive, the 40% Producer Offset rebate, believed to be worth A$13 million in this case.
Singularity was packaged and pre-sold at international markets by Belgium's Corsan Films, which last year delivered Lee Tamahori-directed hit The Devil's Double.
Corsan assembled finance for Singularity from multiple Asian sources including Hong Kong's Bliss Media Limited and China's Dadi Century Film Distribution (Beijing) Co Ltd 大地時代電影發行（北京）有限公司. Dadi took an equity position and distribution rights in six territories: China, HK, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
A spokesman from Dadi told Film Business Asia that in recent conversations with Corsan boss Paul Breuls, it had been reassured that the film will be promoted in Cannes this year.
The epic film involves parallel stories in two eras. In a coma after a deep sea dive, a marine archaeologist is transported back in time to 18th century Pune, where the East India Company is all powerful and where a British officer falls in love with a female warrior.