Manjunath's life on big screen

NFDC picks up stake in the project


The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust, formed by his friends and well wishers, not only took up the case in court but also started a nationwide movement against corruption.

Now, the movement is all set to go the next level with a young film maker deciding to tell Manjunath’s inspiring story to the world.

Titled “Manjunath,” the Hindi film budgeted at Rs 3 crore, will be shot most likely at locations in Rajasthan because director Sandeep A Varma, a Mumbai-based advertising industry professional, thinks it would be too risky to shoot the film in real locations at Lakhimpur Kheri, where the adulteration mafia is still active.

“Manjunath’s parents, who live in Kolar, have given me their blessings, because they feel the story of their son would reach many more people if it is told through a film, more so because some people had even commented that he was a fool to ‘unnecessarily’ take on the mafia,” Varma told Deccan Herald here.

Varma has brought the project to Film Bazaar India’09 organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) on the sidelines of the 40th International Film Festival of India seeking to attract co-producers from abroad. Already, the NFDC has decided to join hands with the project taking around 30 per cent stake in it, he says.

Varma developed the project after he got inspired by the young MBA graduate’s life story during his research to make spots for the Trust. “Manjunath is more than a person—he is a concept—and I want to tell his story to the urban youth in a way that will connect with them. I will use music as a strong element in the film as Manjunath was part of a band in IIM and was a very jovial character,” says Varma.
“It will be an inspirational film, not a depressing one, with the underlying theme being what a youth can do to change  society. It is a good versus evil story that was the core theme our epic ‘Ramayana,’ and my story will have a positive ending, which is why it will go beyond his death,” he says.

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