Julian Assange to star in an Indian film

Published: 28 November, 2011 08:00 IST | Subhash K Jha |

For a film based on the RTI Act, filmmaker Mani Shankar has apparently held two secret meetings with the WikiLeaks founder

For a film based on the RTI Act, filmmaker Mani Shankar has apparently held two secret meetings with the WikiLeaks founder

Hyderabad-based filmmaker Mani Shankar, whose film Knock-Out on the resources from the national exchequer being sent abroad attracted L K Advani's attention, has made at least two secret trips to London to meet Julian Assange. Mani is apparently on to one of the biggest political thrillers ever attempted in India. And Assange will be a part of it.

Julian Assange

The filmmaker who has earlier made espionage thrillers like December 16 and Mukhbiir is now all set to direct a film on the Right To Information (RTI) Act. The enterprising filmmaker who claims to have deep contacts in the bureaucracy has apparently chanced upon shocking and unbelievable details on the RTI issue that involves the entire government machinery.

Points out Mani, "Do you know, the lives of those who have filed RTI petitions and your entire circle of family and friends are under the most unimaginable danger?" Mani intends to use the experiences of such five lakh families to use in his film. "They're not only my source material but also the core audience. Those five lakh people will be at theatres on the first day, when the film releases."

To kick off his film, Mani will get Julian Assange and Arvind Kejriwal to do the formal beginning of the film.
Says Mani, "To me Julian Assange and Arvind Kejriwal are the two Indian and global faces of the RTI. But I can't divulge any details at the moment. But Assange is expected to make a virtual appearance from wherever he is."

Buzz is that one of Bollywood's leading corporate houses will be producing the film. Irrfan Khan has apparently been finalised to play one of the protagonists while for the role of the other, younger protagonist, Mani has approached Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Says Mani, "Every protagonist is based on real life. I want the issue to be much larger than the people involved. A lot of heads will roll when the movie is released."

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