Preparations on for Modi biopic in Kannada

Actor-director Roopa Iyer visited Ahmedabad and collected material for a film about the prime minister’s journey

Roopa Iyer is all set to direct a film on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will be in Kannada and Hindi.

The dancer, actor and director has spent months reading and researching the life and times of Modi. She has also visited places where he spent his childhood and youth. The information she has gathered has convinced her that his journey is “spiritual”.

Modi was active in theatre and performed on many stages in his childhood days. “He was a regular at the Advaith Ashram in Ahmedabad and followed its principles in letter and spirit. He has an indomitable inner energy and spirituality,” Roopa tells Showtime.

She has met some of Modi’s childhood friends in Ahmedabad. “The material and books that I borrowed from them have further strengthened my mission,” she says.
Roopa holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland and her thesis is about the Bhagavad Gita.

A resident of Bengaluru, Roopa is waiting for a go-ahead from Modi.
She says she always wanted to explore the connections between tantra and mantra. “The two are radically different. While tantra is time-bound and will not give you salvation, mantra gives you salvation. People misuse these concepts and resort to black magic to get what they want. My next film will explore all this and more,” says Roopa.

She is preparing to play a character who is detached from her surroundings. “It’s a challenge to portray such a strong character,” she says. “It’s the story of how the life of a simple girl living in a small town is transformed overnight.”

Roopa has spearheaded many campaigns and movements to strengthen the Kannada film industry. “I have always opposed the dubbing of films from other languages into Kannada. This will benefit only a handful of selfish people. What will happen to the livelihood of art directors, fight masters, writers and singers who have given their all to cinema? Other language movies run at the cost of Kannada films and I don’t support that at all,” she says.

Roopa has been hand-picked as the brand ambassador for South India under the Prime Minister’s ‘Jana Kalyana Yojana Abhiyan’. She works with the Yojana’s national president Nagendra Sharma and national secretary Jaighosh Dwivedi to carry forward the programmes. “My counterpart in the north is Hema Malini. There are 169 Yojanas under this scheme and it is my job to ensure that people from five states get the benefits. I have formed teams at the district and taluk levels to ensure that these schemes percolate to the grassroots,” she says.

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