Filmmaker Santhosh Kodenkeri is all set to capture the life of Girish Bhardwaj, who is often referred to as Sethu Bandhu and Bridgeman of India for building around 139 bridges in remote villages across the country. Bhardwaj was conferred the Padma Shri award in 2017.
Titled "The Bridgeman", the film will be released in Kannada and Hindi languages. The project is a departure for Kodenkeri, who directed the Kannada horror thriller "Home Stay" in 2016. The director feels it is challenging to make a biographical drama because if filmmaker shows a person's life as it is, then it may look like a documentary film.
"It's like a parallel film. It's in a similar space as 'Saand Ki Aankh' or 'Manjhi: The Mountain Man', so the style of filmmaking will be to portray a true character and subject in a cinematic way. It is a bit challenging," Kodenkeri told IANS.
"If we show his story as it is, then it may look like a documentary, so we have to add some ingredients and we have to show a couple of issues he faced during his journey," the filmmaker added.
Did he take necessary permission from Bhardwaj? "Yes. we have taken his official permission to make 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. But he is very happy," the filmmaker replied.
On the casting, Kodenkeri said: "We have just completed scripting of the film and we require a lot of actors in the film. We are shooting the film in five different location including Kerala and Hyderabad. We are in the process of casting, and very soon we will make an announcement."
Talking about the release of the film, he added: "We are planning to release the film in 2021 but it depends on geographical aspect as well because we want to show the monsoon period and heavy water flow in rivers. Either we have to do it against a green mat with VFX or we have to shoot the film at real locations. So, we are also working on production design of the film."