By Debasis Barik
Bhubaneswar: Internationally acclaimed Odia filmmaker Sabyasachi Mohapatra on Saturday announced the launch of what he had been living with for more than 25 years – “Bhumi Putra” (Son of Soil), a film on the life of legendary leader and former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
Speaking to Odishatv.in, Mohapatra said: “After speaking to a lot of people, including my family members, I have decided to make a film on Biju Patnaik, whom I have always admired as a human being as well as a great leader.”
“Biju Patnaik had asked me to meet him after my first film ‘Bhukha’ (Starved) got an award at the Dubai International Film Festival in 1989,” the acclaimed filmmaker revealed.
He said he had met Patnaik three times to discuss the project. During these meetings, the former CM had shared many interesting facts about his life which many people are unaware of even today, he added.
“Though I had completed the script in the early nineties, it needs to re-written now as so many things have happened and there has been a huge time gap,” Mohapatra informed.
On being asked who will play the role of Biju Patanik, he said he had already started a hunt all over India to find an actor who can play the character.
“As this film will be made both in Odia and Hindi, and will be a big-budget film, our first priority is to find an actor who can match the towering personality of Biju Patnaik,” the ace filmmaker said.
He also said that it is a challenge for him to find an actor with the physical features and charisma of Biju Patnaik.
The director, who is planning to cover all incidents of Biju Patnaik’s life, will shoot the movie at different locations in India and abroad.
There is also plan to shoot in Indonesia, where the former Chief Minister had a great fan following after his famous rescue mission during that country’s liberation struggle.
The film, to be produced under his own banner Mohapatra Movie Magic Private Ltd, will be two-hour long, targeted to release in 2016.
A host of leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and people from different walks of life, paid tribute to the great and visionary leader on his 100th birth anniversary on March 5.
Mohapatra, who has won several awards for his last two critically-acclaimed films, ‘Sala Budha’ and ‘Aadim Vichar’, is busy with post production work of ‘Pahada Ra Luha’ ( Tears of Mountain), which also deals with the problems of Tribal communities and the changes in their lives due to displacement and mining.