Film on JNU leader scrapped: Director

Plans to make a biopic of slain JNU leader and activist Chandrashekhar Prasad have been scrapped after the filmmakers and some students of the university failed to arrive at a consensus.

Director Ajay Kanchan said the planned film, titled Chandu, faced oppositions from the JNU students who were consulted in order to gather facts about Prasad, who was shot dead in 1997 while addressing a gathering at Siwan in Bihar.

“This was not a commercial venture for us. We were attempting a biopic on a contemporary figure and to know the facts about his life we had to rely on his friends and relatives. But unless we arrived at a consensus, we couldn’t have made this film,” Kanchan told PTI.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who was the driving force behind the project, had decided to consult JNU students at every step to ensure a more accurate portrayal of Prasad’s life.

But Kanchan said their attempts were questioned at every opportunity and even before the script was finished the film faced protests. “It is not fair for a producer to invest into a film which may face legal hurdles after being made.

People putting in money should get returns. The students said they do not want us to commercially distort the reality, even though we wanted to make the film with full sincerity. In this situation of discontent, we decided not to go ahead with the biopic,” said Kanchan.

The film was slated to be the debut vehicle of Imran Zahid, who was set to portray the leader in the film. The actor said a film inspired by Prasad’s character is being planned now.

“It was a dream to make my debut with this film, but Mr Bhatt has been giving me many opportunities, be it in theatre or films, so I grew as an actor. We will make a film inspired by Prasad’s life now, since so much research has been done already,” said Imran.

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