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`Chandu` will not distort facts for commercial gain: Director

New Delhi: Mahesh Bhatt`s decision to make a biopic on slain JNU leader Chandrashekhar Prasad is already causing ripples but film`s director Ajay Kanchan says he will not compromise with the soul of the movie.

The director-producer, who made critically acclaimed movies like `Arth`, `Saraansh` and `Zakhm` distanced himself from realistic films for commercial hits like `Murder`, `Zehar`, and `Jannat`.

Bhatt`s announcement to make `Chandu` evoked a strong reaction from JNU students as they fear that the movie will distort facts about Chandrashekhar, who was shot dead in 1997 while addressing a gathering in Siwan, Bihar.

Bhatt, who is attached to the project as a creative director, has roped in documentary filmmaker Ajay Kanchan to helm the much-talked about project.

In Kanchan`s words the veteran filmmaker specifically chose him to keep the authenticity of the film intact.

"He (Bhatt) knows that I am not the one to bow to commercial compulsions and I think that is why he chose me to helm the project. I have already told him that I will not compromise with facts," Kanchan told reporters in an interview.

Kanchan has collaborated with Bhatt on many projects ranging from cyclone, mining in Rajasthan to insurgency in Nagaland, but his film on BT Brinjals, `Poison on Platter` got him recognition.

"As far as the doubts of JNU students are concerned they are legitimate. I am going there every now and then talking to Chandu`s contemporaries and his followers. Chandu is their proud legacy and I would not underplay their emotions," he said.

Since the case over the Chandrashekhar`s murder is still subjudice, the film may have political repercussions but Kanchan is not anxious.

For the time being, he has buried himself in researching the life of the slain leader.

"I know there could be ramifications but I am not bothered. I am not here to do any balancing act. I am going to present facts as it is. Heroes like Chandu, who would not even once think about their personal goals and live for an ideology, need to be presented to the Indian audience.

"Everything will be handled with responsibility as the case is still pending in the court of law. I also intend to attend the proceedings," Kanchan said.

The filmmaker intends to complete his research and script till late September.

Kanchan is aware that research is important as he is trying to present a comparatively new figure, who is not very known to the local audience.

"Chandu`s self-less attitude, his fearlessness has been idolised by many in JNU but otherwise people do not know about him much. When I got attached with the project, a lot of my friends queried about Chandu," he said..

So how does he plan to keep the audience interested?

"People have always been interested in real heroes and their stories. Rest depends on the art of story-telling. My film will not be preachy but we will try to deliver the message," Kanchan said.

The film claims to be a holistic take on the activist who was killed at a young age of 34. Apart from his 6-7 years of activism, it will also explore Chandrashekhar`s childhood when he lost his father, his family background and also his days at the airforce.

`Chandu` is slated to go on floor around October- November this year and is being produced by Dubai-based businessman Irfan Izhar, an alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim
University.

PTI

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