Hero of his own film
Director of Sri Bharatha Baahubali, Manju Mandavya, will be donning many roles for the project
Manju Mandavya is balancing a tough act. For his upcoming film, Sri Bharatha Baahubali, the director, has not only turned into a full-fledged hero, but is also handling every department of the film including being the executive producer.
With the first schedule of the film completed, the director is getting ready to start with the next portions sometime during the second week of July. In the film, Chikkanna plays the lead along with Manju, while Sarah Harish has been roped in to play the female lead. "We have planned a 45-day schedule, and have completed 12 days of shoot," he says.
But why has he chosen to be the hero of his own film? "I got recognised for my acting in Raja Huli. The Yash-starrer gave me a chance to prove myself in an extended role. Ever since, people have told me that I am good in front of the camera and that I should take up subjects based on village backdrops. That's when I came up with the script of Sri Bharatha Baahubali, whose theme is humour. I discussed this with Chikkanna and he was open to the idea. When I started developing the script, I made sure that the story suited my sensibilities. Only then did we go on floors," he says.
He adds that since the film doesn't highlight 'heroism', he could not approach stars. "From a business point of view, I could not consider a newcomer. Both Chikkanna and I are recognised, and we fit the bill," he says.
Manju has already proved himself when he directed Yash-starrer, Masterpiece; handled scripting and dialogue for at least 30 films; written scripts for different films, and has also made his way on screen in supporting roles and special appearances. But is it viable for anyone in the field to take up the sole responsibility of a film? "We have all the time in the world, and it is possible, provided the planning is good. I first got the script ready, and now I am in the process of visualising it. Since I come from a theatre background, I don't find this hectic at all. In fact, this has also helped me learn how to handle the production responsibilities," he says.
Sri Bharatha Baahubali also features Stan, a foreigner, who is said to play an important role in the film. Actor Rishi will also be making a special appearance. The film has music is by Manikanth Kadri and cinematographer Parveez from Mumbai, who has previously made short films, is also on board.