I Am Kalam director, Nila Madhab Panda, is set to visit Los Angeles (LA) in pursuit of Hollywood star Richard Gere. The filmmaker has just finished work on his second movie, Jalbin Jalpari (Desert Mermaid), based on female infanticide. He is hoping to convince the Pretty Woman actor to star in his third, yet untitled film. His next outing will delve into the world food security crisis and the director wants Gere to play the primary character in it.
“I am leaving for LA in a week to meet Richard Gere and speak to him about the film. I haven’t thought of an alternative, since I’ve conceived the role keeping him in mind. I might rope in other Hollywood stars to play other characters as well,” says Panda, whose last film, I Am Kalam (2011), fetched him umpteen awards and critical acclaim.
Hi debut film was about a poor child, who works at a roadside dhaba. Inspired by a speech of former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam , he dreams of getting an education.
Panda’s second film Jalbin Jalpari deals with the long-running practice of female infanticide “My films revolve around strong socio-political subjects. This is a more serious subject than what I addressed in I Am Kalam.”
About his recently finished project, Panda reveals that Jalbin Jalpari revolves around the life of a 12 year-old-girl, played by Leher Khan. “The infant mortality rate (among girls) is very high in India, but this film is not preachy in any sense” says Panda.
Jalbin Jalpari will open at Cannes this year in May and then prepare for its commercial release in India and across the world.