Bollywood director plans film on Scarlett Keeling

NEW DELHI Mon May 5, 2008 6:48pm IST

An undated family handout photo shows Scarlett Keeling. REUTERS/Keeling family/Handout

An undated family handout photo shows Scarlett Keeling.

Credit: Reuters/Keeling family/Handout

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A Bollywood director plans to make a film about murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling at one of Goa's famed beaches, but a lawyer said the family was afraid the script could deviate from the truth.

Keeling, a 15-year-old British girl, was raped and murdered at Goa's Anjuna beach in February, triggering criticism of the police and highlighting the lack of safety for tourists in India.

The new film, "Rave Party", will have song and dance sequences on Goa's pristine beaches, and will include a scene depicting the last few minutes of Keeling's life when police say she was raped and left to die in the shallow waters.

"It will be a Bollywood film with a tinge of reality as I want people to come to the theatres and learn from the film," Prabhakar Shukla, the film's director told Reuters from Mumbai.

Two people have been arrested in the case. One has been released on bail, prompting Fiona MacKeown, mother of the dead teenager, to push for a federal police investigation.

Keeling's death highlighted the easy availability of drugs, especially at Anjuna beach where Keeling's body was found.

Police say Keeling's attackers confessed that the teenager was high on alcohol, ecstasy, LSD and cocaine, when she was raped.

"Everyone should learn and see what is happening to tourists in Goa," Shukla said by telephone.

At least 126 foreign nationals have died in Goa in the past two years, most of them in accidents or as suicides. But some police officers admit privately that a few cases might have links with drug peddlers.

"The film will speak the truth about the drug nexus in Goa," the director said.

But Keeling's family lawyer said the family was not sure how a film on Keeling could help her get justice.

"We might object to the film if we find it is being made into a Bollywood thriller and has excessive deviation from facts," Vikram Varma, the Keeling family lawyer said from Goa.

"Her mother said she would welcome a film if the director sticks to the truth."

The shooting of "Rave Party" will start in July for release in December, Shukla said.

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