Even as the entire country mourns the death of former India President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda has revealed plans of a biopic on the 'Missile Man'. Panda's critically acclaimed 'I Am Kalam' (2010) was inspired by the ex-Prez, who passed away in Shillong on Monday evening.
Nila Madhab Panda (left) with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and the child actors of his 2010 film I Am Kalam
Says Panda, "I have been thinking about it (a biopic on Kalam) for a long time now, but I never got the opportunity to discuss it with him. For him, it was important that his motivational messages reach far and wide and so, I am sure he would have never objected to a film being made on him. Now is the right time. I have started my research and am already in talks with people to back my project. However, I will be able to begin work on it once my upcoming film releases. I will announce the cast then."
Two months ago, the Odisha-born filmmaker happened to meet Kalam. "It was not a professional meeting as such, but we spoke for quite some time. I still remember how he was always polite with everyone. He would talk about his dreams and on the day of his death, too, he was talking about his dreams which makes him an absolute hero," adds Panda.
Panda reminisces the time when he showed 'I Am Kalam' to the man himself. "I was fortunate enough to meet him in person on four or five occasions. However, I now realise that I have only one picture with him. For my generation, he was an icon. I remember when we met him after a screening of my film and he was enjoying the company of kids. He was happy to see his dream to reach out to kids and spread his thoughts was fulfilled through the film," he says.