A software engineer, who produced Jog Falls and Rambo in Kannada, Atlanta Nagendra now has set his eyes on Bollywood with his directorial debut Hindi film Mumbhai Connection scheduled for a March release.
“This is an ambitious project - I have also written the story, screenplay and dialogues. Having been a producer before, I did pick up a few tips on filmmaking on the sets of my films. Later, I did courses in filmmaking in New York and Atlanta. That’s how my journey started with Mumbhai Connection,” says Nagendra whose work in information technology took him to Atlanta a decade ago.
On choosing to make the film in Hindi, Nagendra feels the subject demanded so. “The concept of ‘mafia’ and ‘bhai’ is better in Hindi than Kannada,” he says. Mumbhai Connection has been shot entirely in Atlanta and stars local actors. “It would have been complicated to cast actors from India because of visa issues. I picked up talent from acting classes in Atlanta, people who have also done small roles in Hollywood movies. Indians who are passionate about acting also auditioned and were cast. We have around 15- 20 characters in the movie which revolves around an IT company. It’s 80 per cent Hindi and 20 per cent English. Since I have a day job in IT, I would work during the week and shoot on Saturdays and Sundays. So it took me a year to complete the film,” he says.
Since the film has no star cast to flaunt, Nagendra took Mumbhai Connection to various film festivals. “My film was screened at six film festivals in America and two in India. Fortunately, I received three awards - one in California and two in Atlanta in the best feature film category. Since my film has been received well, I thought of releasing it in India and signed up with distributors before I made the announcement,” Nagendra says.
The film has 48 scenes with one item song. “There is only one song, which is the turning point of the film and has not been added for any commercial purpose. Sunidhi Chauhan has sung it and Stephen Prayog has scored the music,” he says.