Prakash Jha to direct web biopic on ex-PM Narasimha Rao

Mumbai:  Veteran Telugu film producer Allu Aravind has collaborated with National Award-winning filmmaker Prakash Jha for the biopic series of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.

In conversation with IANS, Aravind shares the importance of making a biopic on India’s first Prime Minister from the south and why Jha is the best choice to bring the story alive on screen.

Aravind, also the father of Telugu star Allu Arjun, under his Aha Studio has collaborated with Applause Entertainment and with Samir Nair and Prakash Jha, he made the official announcement of the web series.

Aravind told IANS “There are many stories from the south that we feel deserve to come out on the national platform. We have identified around four to five such big stories that should be made and released on national platforms.

“The biographical web series of our former PM P.V. Narasimha Rao is one such story. He was the only south Indian who became the prime minister in our independent India. He reformed the economy in a manner that we are still enjoying the results of it. But the audience does not know about his contribution to the economic transformation, because he did not take much credit for it.

“So people give credit to one of our other former PMs Dr Manmohan Singh. The idea of making the web series is to put everything on the table. Bringing the fascinating political journey of Mr Rao. We will make it in multiple languages – Telugu, Tamil and Hindi because Rao himself was multilingual. He knew 16 languages.”

On Prakash Jha as director of the web series, Arvind said, “I think we couldn’t have had a better filmmaker than Prakash Jha saab to helm a political story. He is an expert in telling political drama series. Mr Rao was one of the very interesting and important political personalities in Indian politics. Prakash saab is the best to tell such stories.”

The story of the web series will be based on the book ‘Half Lion’ written by historian Vinay Sitapati.

Asked about the announcement of casting and who will be playing Rao in the web series, Aravind said, “I think it is too early to talk about it because now we have started the pre-production. Prakash saab is occupied in finishing his latest project and once that is sorted we will sit down to zero down on one actor for the lead role. That apart we need to plan for the casting of the entire show for which I will have a discussion with Samir saab, Prakash saab before making the final announcement.”

While the web series will be streaming on Aha OTT service for Telugu content, with this series, they have decided to expand the horizon with new content in a different language.

Asked if they have decided to release it on any other platform, Aravind shared, “Other than my platform Aha, on the national scale of its release, we understand that there are some of the prominent OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ Hotstar, SonyLIV etc. But we will have to take a collective decision on that matter.

“You see this is not a commissioned project by any platform, it is an independent web series that will go on the platform once the product is ready. So, currently, our focus is pre-production and eventually, we will decide the platform for its nationwide release.”


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