A film of the Kama Sutra which won't fall foul of censors around the world sounds like a difficult task - but India's acclaimed director Mira Nair believes it is possible.
The fourth century text is known as an instruction manual for sex.
But the director of Salaam Bombay ! says there's more to it - the Kama Sutra is about love as well as love-making.
However her film promises plenty of both.
The very idea of putting the celebrated Indian love-guide, the Kama Sutra, on the big screen is enough to raise a few eyebrows.
But in the hands of director Mira Nair -- whose pictures are generally found in art theaters, not red-light areas -- audiences may find the film stimulates the mind more than the senses.
That is not to say the film neglects life's sensuous side.
Director Nair first gained international attention with her award-winning Salaam Bombay !, a touching portrayal of street children in India's biggest city.
In this project she says she wants to give her modern audience a simple and eternal lesson from an ancient text.
" We have forgotten how to prepare ourselves, you know, spiritually and physically even, for love within ourself or love with a lover. And that's something that the Kama Sutra helps to teach."
SUPERCAPTION: Mira Nair, Director
The book itself is a collection of aphorisms with no plot, so Nair has created a story set in 16th Century India with plenty of love, discovery, sex and revenge.
She said she wanted to show an emotional and sensual chess game of relationships between her four main characters - a king, his queen, a courtesan and a sculptor.
And though those involved in the film frankly say the chess pieces regularly collide in a most intimate way, they insist the audience will get more education than titillation.
"It's much more acrobatics of the mind than the body. And I think they'll (the audience) learn a lot, but not from, it's not about positions, you know."
SUPERCAPTION: Sarita Choudhury, Actress (Tara, The Queen)
But actor Ramon Tikaram doesn't downplay the film's sexual content -- it's there, he says, and he has the bruises to prove it.
" Well, I've hurt my back a couple of times, so, you know, I'm not gonna say that there isn't because there is. There's um, there's a few positions in there, yeah.
SUPERCAPTION: Ramon Tikaram, Actor (Jai, The Sculptor)
The decaying forts and palaces of Rajasthan, India's Land of the Kings, provide the backdrop for part of the film. Major portions were also shot in Khajuraho, famous for its dozens of temples which overflow with erotic sculptures and carvings.
The filmmakers hope to be allowed to release their movie in India, but the broad-minded and permissive Hindu society depicted in the film is no longer so liberal.
Fears of objections from Indian authorities were so great the Kama Sutra title which was used to market the film was quietly changed to Tara and Maya during filming to attract less attention.
A clutch of young ethnic Indian actors from London and New York play lead roles, led by Indira Varma as Maya and Sarita Choudhury from Mississippi Masala as Tara.
The book, an erotic primer and guide to etiquette, was put together in the fourth century by the sage Vatsayana from different Hindu texts on love and desire.
Instructions detailing the use of hyena bones as aphrodisiacs are found next to close analyses of the seven types of kissing. Apart from this Nair said she found much that is as true today as then.
"Lines about, you know, if you wish to be a courtesan one must conduct oneself -- you know, there's sex with love and sex without love. If you wish to be a courtesan sex without love is possible, but you must conduct yourself as if your love is indeed natural,
because we all know that men love women who apparently love them. I mean, it's a totally mischievous line, and it's directly from the Kama Sutra, and it's completely true.
SUPERCAPTION: Mira Nair, Director
Filming is now completed and editing is about to begin.
The filmmakers hope to premier the movie at the Cannes film festival next May, where Nair has won a number of awards before.
Whether or not this film will win any prizes remains to be seen, but what it is certain to gain is attention.