Life of Karnataka IAS couple set to become movie material

Work on the first-ever Kannada film based on major incidents in the career of an IAS officer couple will be launched on June 24.

The film ‘ Shalini IAS’, is an adaptation of ‘ IAS Dampatigala Kanasu’, a Kannada book published in 2015, by Shalini Rajneesh and her husband Rajneesh Goel. Both are Karnataka cadre IAS officers.

The film, produced by 1+1=11 production house, will be directed by Nikhil Manjoo, a national award winning Kannada film director. The 130-minute film is set for release for Sankranthi in 2018.

‘Shalini IAS’ will also be the first-ever Kannada movie to be shot in Pakistan, if all goes according to plan. Shalini’s ancestors hail from Pakistan. The movie director plans to use his Pakistan contacts to obtain permission for the sho­o­t­­ing.

Shalini’s ancestors moved to Indian Punjab leaving behind all their property in Pakistan after partition. Shalini’s father P P Chhabra spent his childhood days at a rehabilitation centre in Punjab and went on to become an IAS officer.

“We plan to shoot the initial days of Chhabra in Pakistan,” says Manjoo, whose movie ‘Reservation’, won the best Kannada film award at the 64th National Film Awards.

Manjoo’s two films were screened at Dadapeer International Film Festival, Lahore. The film highlights two major things. First, like Chhabra, anybody could become an IAS officer through hard work. Second, human life could be extended by organ donation. “Chhabra had pledged his body about five years ago in Faridabad. He died on March 17, 2017. Shalini donated her father’s body.

She had also donated some organs of her mother. Of the 100 people who register for organ donation, only 10 donate. We want to highlight how organ donation helps others,” Manjoo added.

‘Shalini IAS’ is a combination of elements of art and commercial movies. Besides four songs, the movie will have some fiction needed for a commercial flick. Yana Nagaraj will play Shalini while four male artistes have been short-listed for Rajneesh’s role. Sandalwood has seen many movies loosely based on the lives and incidents of bureaucrats, mainly police officers. There were two films loosely based on the life and career of retired IPS officer  H T Sangliana and one film on Kempaiah.

Four films Amanusha (1988), Circle Inspector (1996), Deadly Soma-1 (2005) and Myna (2003) were based on real life incidents in the careers of retired additional superintendent of police B B Ashok Kumar. A few works of former IPS officer Vijay Sasanur have been filmed in Kannada some of which were big commercial hits.

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