"Will start shooting of ‘The Bridgeman’ from the first week of February says Santhosh Kodenkeri".
Filmmaker-screenplay writer Santhosh Kodenkeri, who is all set to direct a film titled ‘The Bridgeman’ based on the life of social worker Girish Bhardwaj, has revealed that he will start shooting for the biographical drama film from the first week of February next year. He added saying that he has taken official permission from Bhardwaj to make a film on his life and he is happy that a film is being made on his life journey.
Santhosh Kodenkeri was interacting with News Helpline on Monday in Mumbai.
Kodenkeri who has earlier directed the 2016 released horror-thriller Kannada film ‘Home Stay’ is making a film based on the life of Girish Bhardwaj. He is an Indian social worker often referred to as Sethu Bandhu and Bridgeman of India for building around 139 bridges in remote villages across India. He has conferred the Padma Shri award in 2017.
When asked Kodenkeri, who is going to play Bhardwaj’s role in the film, he said, “We have just completed scripting of the film and now, we are busy in pr-production of the film. We are making this film on a huge canvas, so we require a lot of actors to be in the film. We are shooting the film in five different cities including Kerala and Hyderabad. We are in the process of casting and very soon, we will make an announcement about it. We are planning to complete the casting by January and from the first week of February; we will start shooting the film.
Talking about the release of the film, he said, “We are planning to release the film in 2021 but it depends on the geographical aspect as well because we want to show the monsoon period and heavy water flows in rivers. Either we have to do it in a green mat and VFX or we have to shoot the film at real locations, so we are also working on the production design of the film.”
When asked Kodenkeri whether the makers of the film had taken permission from Bhardwaj to make a film based on his life, he said, “Yes… we have taken his official permission to make a film on his life. I have been seeing him since my childhood. Now, he is 71 years old and we belong to the same Taluka (Tehsil). He built the first in the early 1990s and at that time, I was 10-11 years old, so we have seen him from that period and when he was honored with Padma Shri. He refused Padma Shri in 2017, so we had a word with him in 2018 itself about making a film on his life. He is only concerned that people should know his real story without much commercial value because he does not belong to a filmy background otherwise, he is very happy that his life journey is coming through a silver screen.”
Talking about the change in the method of filmmaking over the years, Kodenkeri said, “Since last few years, the concept of making a cinema right from its concept, execution, and presentation has entirely changed because we have got huge reach through OTT platforms and digital connectivity. I think there are no barriers at all, if we make a certain movie, we can showcase it anywhere in the entire world.”
He added, “In South-Indian film industry, I have completed the shooting of two films one is in Kannada and another one is in the Malayalam language."
‘The Bridgeman’ will be released in Kannada and Hindi languages. It is being produced by Shantha Kumar and Harinath L.