As an independent filmmaker Gunavantha Manju likes to say 'action' and 'cut' only once. And he has proved that he can actually come out with a full-length film by doing just that. His film, Namaste India, is eyeing for a place in the Guinness Book of Records, in the category of 'single shot movie'.
The challenge for Manju was to take the shot right after his call for 'action' and finish the entire sequence of a full-length movie beating previous record holders - an American film, 21 Brothers, made in 60 minutes, a Russian movie made in 90 minutes, a Tamil movie, Agadam with a running time of two hours, three minutes and 30 seconds and the current holder of the Guinness World Record for the longest uncut film. Manju managed to pull off the movie in two hours, seven minutes and 30 seconds. "The book will recognise it as a record if we log in a longer time for a single-shot movie," said Manju.
Shot in Hampi, the camera started rolling at 11.40 am and 'cut' was called for at 1.47 pm on November 7. "Frankly, my intention is to get noticed through this film. Now that I could complete the film with no hassles, I would be sending them a copy of the shooting of the film to the Guinness Book of Records today. They will take four weeks to examine the facts and later will issue the certificate," said Manju.
Interestingly, the movie is made with a budget of `90 lakh and has all the ingredients of commercial cinema. The first-time director experimented the reverse mode while making this film. "Since I knew the importance of practise, we rehearsed for 60 days before the scheduled day. I made sure that all artistes practised their roles and dialogues as many times as they could before we did the main shot on November 7. The school kids underwent 15 days of training before they did the final act. The entire film was shot in Red camera and needs no editing. Except for the starting titles and end credits, everything else remains the same," he said.
Manju roped in 75 artistes out of which 25 school children were from Hospet and 25 others were those who had learnt karate. The other 25 included the main leads and supporting cast. Actors include Danush of Psycho fame, Mythria Gowda, who worked in Kalinga, and child artiste Tanusha, whose last film was Charminar. "MLA Narendra Babu too has played an important role of a chief minister in the movie," Manju revealed.
Manju has been a filmmaker for 13 years and has worked as a co-director with R Chandru and a few other directors. "I have done around 350 documentaries for various government bodies and about 2,000 episodes for serials. Namaste India will be my first independent film, for which I had Nanda Kumar as cameraman. The music has been scored by Indra Sena and Ramdev was the action master. I hope the efforts are not just noted in the form of a certificate but also by the audience," said Manju, who plans to release the film on January 26. "What better day than Republic Day for a release," he added.