Director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, known nationally for films like Pushpak (1988), Appu Raja (1989) and Aditya 369 (1991) will direct a landmark feature film on the life of Jesus Christ in Hindi, English, Telugu and Malayalam. Produced by Konda Krishnam Raju, producer of Telugu blockbusters like Vijayendra Varma (2004) and Sri Ramadasu (2006), the film depicts the story of Jesus Christ from his birth, till his death and resurrection at the age of 33.
The mahurat of the film took place at Olive Hill, Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Dream come true
Says an ecstatic Raju, talking from the Israeli capital, “This is the first time in the 79-year history of the Bollywood film industry that a film on Jesus Christ is being made. Our dream is finally coming true.” The film will be shot in India and Israel.
Another first for the film is that children between the ages of 10 to 14 will play all the characters. Christien Tinsley, who was nominated for his work in Passion Of The Christ (2004), will do the make up for these young actors. Tinsley has formerly worked in Bollywood for Paa (2009). Adults will play two roles in each version.
“In all the four versions there are going to be two roles played by two adults - a male and a female. South superstar Pawan Kalyan will play the male role in the Telugu and Malayalam versions. We will disclose the female actor’s name after we are back to India on September 10,” says Raju.
The cast of the Hindi and English is decided, but the producer refuses to disclose it. “We have signed two big Bollywood names for the male and female adult roles in the Hindi and English versions, which will be announced soon,” he says.
The film will also have seven songs, which is rare for a film on Jesus Christ. It is scheduled for a worldwide theatrical release in the second half of 2011.