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Bollywood Superstars to feature in Feature film on Tigers by National award winning filmmaker Subbiah Nallamuthu?

Subbiah Nallamuthu

The upcoming, most ambitious venture of national award winning filmmaker Subbiah Nallamuthu opens up the door for leading Indian actors and actresses to be a part of a pioneering film that is poised to create history in the Entertainment industry.

The 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) has honoured the illustrious wildlife filmmaker Shri Subbiah Nallamuthu by conferring upon him the much coveted Dr V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award.

Winner of several national and international awards including the National Film Awards 5 times, Subbiah Nallamuthu has produced 6 internationally acclaimed award winning films on Tigers and all were self funded films, contrary to the general perception that the documentaries on tigers would be commissioned.

The FTII graduate, creator of Panda Award-winning environment series ‘Living on the Edge’ has also worked with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as a high-speed cameraman. His passion for the Royal Bengal Tiger has translated into 5 tiger-centric international documentaries for National Geographic Channel and BBC. His prolific filmography includes Tiger Dynasty (2012-2013), Tiger Queen (2010) and The World’s Most Famous Tiger (2017).

Subbiah Nallamuthu speaks exclusively to Paresh B. Mehta, editor of about his most ambitious upcoming venture – a fictional Feature film on Tigers that will see Indian Superstars featuring along side real Indian tigers in an engrossing and thrilling family entertainer for the masses.

Subbiah Nallamuthu
Subbiah Nallamuthu

Congratulations for being felicitated with Lifetime Achievement award. What is next?
I’m working on a feature film in fictional format with actors with the storyline using original footage of tigers. This feature film will be the first in the world using a original Tiger footage – instead of graphics, animation or VFX. There will be actors and actresses as well as the original footage of Tiger will be used. It is a real issue based project as I am putting together real incidents of Tiger universe shot in the Tiger reserves.

So will it be like any other mainstream Bollywood flick?
The film has a proper hero, heroine and villains and everything. It’s a proper feature film. A proper Bollywood thriller and it will be dubbed in other languages and have subtitles.

What is the status of the project now?
I am co-producing with a couple of individuals who are co-financing it. The script is ready and now we are on the look out for a protagonist and other actors and actresses. The shoot is scheduled to start from September with most of the filming in natural forests and we plan to finish it by next March so that we can showcase it in international festivals.

Will it be a commercial Bollywood movie?
Yeah, the film has songs, dance, emotion, action, thrills and also positive, motivational songs relating to the tigers. It is purely a new pattern and structure showcasing vibrant colours of the forest, tigers and the flora fauna. Such a film has never been attempted before as most of the Indian and international films have graphics or VFX for the scenes featuring the tiger. And our films will be having the tigers shown in positive light, being the victims of ecological terrorism.

Are there any established production houses or studio backing the film?
I pitched this concept to several studios and production houses. Hardly any of them showed interest as they prefer to back a film having the usual trend of drama and melodrama. They are wary of taking any risk in this pioneering concept of story telling.

I managed to get a well wisher who is a wildlife lover was willing to be part of this, as well as I am also investing all my life savings into this film. Though our budget prevents us to approach top Bollywood stars who seem to be uninterested in doing wild-life issue based films and prefer to sign fan based stories.

There are Bollywood superstars being a part of Save the Tiger campaign with few of them featuring in such clips. 
I too have seen top film stars talking about tigers, save the tigers and so on…. but this is only confined to their social media posts. But when one approaches them to do a feature film on this issue, they prefer selecting commercial projects. Probably, a major reason for their reluctance could be the remuneration of acting in such films as these stars are offered multiples of these fees in commercials and feature films. I would be glad on having Bollywood superstar actors and actresses on board, whether as a co-producer, acting in it as well as working in it on mutually agreeable terms.

Of recent, there are instances where the stars have charged a fraction of their fees for doing films with rich content.
Agreed, but how many such instances could you recount? Hardly a few. With the changing trends we are now seeing some low budget films like Kanthara making crores at the Box office. But even that film wasn’t back by an established production house, yet the film clicked with the masses.

Subbiah Nallamuthu at MIFF 2024
Subbiah Nallamuthu at MIFF 2024

Would you reveal more about your upcoming feature film?
With a duration of around 2 hours, we will have 20 to 25 minutes of original footage featuring the real Tiger, with the rest of it featuring actors, actresses in an engrossing story of protagonists and antagonists (eco-terrorists) having sentiments, emotions, laughter, reality, songs, dance, revenge and some action in the climax. The sequence of Tiger has connection to the original incidents occurred in the Tiger world in West Bengal, Rajasthan, MP and various places that are woven into the story that has . It’s completely a new package.

It is an issue based entertainment eco thriller that will entertain the masses. A first in the world of Entertainment industry.

(Picture Courtesy – Facebook – Subbiah Nallamuthu)

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