Rs 400-cr folklore film “Pratapgad” to be shot in Goa, could generate employment for over 1000 Goan youth: Maneesh Singh

Industrialist, NRI businessman and producer Trilok Mukhi and co-producer Maneesh Singh have announced a Rs 400 crore mega budget Bollywood film which will be co-directed by Singh and Jazon Fernandez.

Almost 60 percent of the film is likely to be shot in South Goa and it could generate employment for over about 1000 Goan youth for about 4 months, Singh announced today in Mumbai.

Co-producer Maneesh Singh who studied in Goa and spent the early years of his life in Dabolim – as his father was posted at the Naval Station at Dabolim which is a part of the Naval base INS Hansa said the production will hire Goan youth as extras, security staff, drivers and helpers, etc. “We are scouting for locations in South Goa – we need a really big secluded hilly space which is far away from the city and crowds for at least 4 to 5 months to erect the sets for the film,” Singh told IndiaScribes.com.

The production unit is also in talks with a recruitment firm from Pune to hire out the manpower from Goa. We are in talks with several people. We have not yet applied for permission from the Goa government as we have not yet finalized the place, Singh revealed.

The civilian airport or Dabolim airport is also part of this naval enclave in Goa where Singh lived during his childhood and has very fond memories of the Goa of the early 70s.

Sources say, Mukhi and Singh have teamed up with Hollywood director Jazon Fernandez to direct and co-produce a mega budget historical film that will also incorporate loads of Indian mythology and folklore.

Fernandez who is associated with the Hollywood studio Apollonius Films visited Goa, Chennai and toured various historical venues in Maharashtra over the last 2-3 months for research into the film.

The film revolves around the myths, folklore, folktales and legends around Pratapgad – also transcribed as Pratapgarh or Pratapgadh, literally ‘Valour Fort’ which is a large fort located in Satara district, in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra. Significant as the site of the Battle of Pratapgad, the fort is now a popular tourist destination.

Pratapgad fort is located 15 kilometers from Poladpur and 23 kilometres west of Mahabaleshwar, a popular hill station in the area. The fort stands 1,080 metres (3,540 ft) above sea level and is built on a spur which overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar.

The Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj commissioned Moropant Trimbak Pingle, his prime minister, to undertake the construction of this fort in order to defend the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers, and to defend the Par pass. It was completed in 1656. The Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan was fought below the ramparts of this fort on November 10, 1659.

In addition to the celebrity cast, Jazon who will co-direct the film along with Mukhi said he was also looking out for new and talented youngsters for smaller and supporting roles in the film. About 20 per cent of the film is based on VFX and animation, but there will be real life scenes and action as well. The film is set in the time between 1600 AD and 1800 AD and features the both genuine historical characters which mingle with local folklore and mythology.

“The estimated budget of the film is about Rs 400 crore and the project is in Hinglish, though the film will be dubbed in at least 40 world languages when it releases late 2019,” he mentioned.

Speaking to an Indian news website, IndiaScribes.com, Jazon said, “Most Indian mythological films are based on Hindu mythological characters based primarily on the Ramayana and Mahabharata and other related mythology. Our story and script for Pratapgad is not based on Hindu mythology at all, instead draws in from local folklore and myths, folktales, legends and fairy tales.

“A team of over 35 writers and researchers are currently working on the script which will be ready within 2 months. The film will boast of over main 400 characters with several hundred other artistes,” Mukhi revealed.

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