From Maoist hotbed to film location, Swabhiman Anchal scripts a hit story

The team will use drone cameras for the shooting, stated a letter sent by Rao the collector and SP.

Published: 10th April 2023 08:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2023 08:50 PM   |  A+A-

The movie team on the hanging bridge at Swabhiman Anchal | Express

Express News Service

MALKANGIRI: In a spectacular turnaround, Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri district, which was a Maoist hotbed and cut-off from the mainstream only a decade back, is all set to become the location for shooting of the pan-India Telugu blockbuster Pushpa’s sequel.

‘Pushpa-II: The Rule’ will be shot at the hanging bridge and Hantalguda ghat, the under-construction bridge at the spillway in Chitrakonda and Saptadhara bridge on NH-326 between Malkangiri and Jeypore.
A team of Mythri Movie Makers Pvt Ltd comprising fightmasters Peter Haines and Dragon Prakash, art director Ramakrishna, assistant producer Subramanyam, co-director Prasad Mariseti and cameraman Debraj selected the locations after scouting Swabhiman Anchal for a couple of days. The team was in the area on Friday and Saturday to do the ground work before shooting of the sequences commences.

Production manager P Venketeswar Rao had sought permission from Malkangiri collector Vishal Singh and SP Nitesh Wadhwani to shoot the film at the selected locations from the first week of May. The team will use drone cameras for the shooting, stated a letter sent by Rao the collector and SP.

Singh told TNIE, the sites in Swabhiman Anchal were selected by Pushpa-II team and the permission for shooting sequences of the movie has already been granted by him and the SP. The areas where the movie will be shot were once a dreaded stronghold of Maoists. Cut-off from the mainland due to lack of communication, primarily a bridge over the Gurupriya river and connectivity, the area provided perfect cover for the extremists, who carried out several dastardly attacks on security personnel and the asministration. The Balimela boat attack, one of the deadliest took place on June 29, 2008, when Maoists ambushed a boat on the Balimela reservoir carrying 60 Greyhound commandos, five police officers and a boat operator.

The boat sunk, killing 38 people, while 27 survived. The region, however, got to national headlines in February 2011 when R Vineel Krishna, the then Malkangiri collector was abducted by the Maoists while he was returning after a community interaction programme in the area. He was subsequently released.
The state government then shifted focus to the development activities in the area and started constructing the Gurupriya bridge, which was inaugurated in 2018.

Enhancement of security including deployment of CAPFs coupled with various developmental and welfare activities by the government has brought peace to the area which is known for its scenic beauty and natural bounty. Pushpa: The Rise had taken the nation by storm with earnings of over Rs 400 crore. With Telugu superstar Allu Arjun in the lead, it broke several records and was dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada.


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