Filmmaker Santhosh Kodenkeri and Producer Shantha Kumar 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 Hindi horror thriller “Home Stay” in 2016. The director feels it is challenging to make a biographical drama because if the filmmaker shows a person’s life as it is, then it may look like a documentary film.
Director Santhosh Kodenkeri says “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, 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,”
Talking about necessary permission from Bhardwaj for the film “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. We have just completed the scripting of the film and we require a lot of actors in the film. We are shooting the film in five different locations including Kerala and Hyderabad. We are in the process of casting, and very soon we will make an announcement.” the filmmaker further added.
Producer Shantha Kumar says “After the release of KGF, I felt there is a scope of Kanada movies in Hindi film industry, that’s why I thought let’s do the Hindi film, When I saw their story on Social Media and digital even there is a book on it, then I thought if a man living in a small village can do this kind of work while connecting others from a different village, it’s a motivational story for the youth, that’s why we have decided to produce this film through my production house SK TALKIES.”
Further, he adds “The budget we will decide after casting, yet we have not finalized our star cast once we will do that then only we will be going to thought about the budget. This is my first Hindi film and the first time I am producing so I think it will do much better like it will be the 2nd Kannada film in the Hindi language so the expectation is there.”
The maker of the film are planning to release the film in 2021 but it depends on the geographical aspect as well because they want to show the monsoon period and heavy water flows in rivers. Either has to do it against a green mat with VFX or the director has to shoot the film at real locations. So, the maker is also working on the production design of the film.