London, Sep 3 (Calcutta Tube) Indian director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and producer Konda Krishnam Raju have teamed up for a big-budget multilingual film on the formative years of Jesus Christ. Raju claims the film will be the ‘first presentation of this type in Bollywood history‘.
The film will be narrated in four languages and feature an all-Indian cast of child actors and seven devotional songs.
Raju said the film focuses on the childhood of Jesus, a contrast with other movies that depict his later years. ‘This is the first presentation of this type in Bollywood history,’ telegraph.co.uk quoted him as saying.
At $30 million, the filmmakers say, the film will be one of India’s highest budget movies. An average Indian movie costs about $500,000.
Aditya Productions plans to release the movie next year in English and three Indian languages – Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B00028HBIO” display=”inlinepost”]South Indian star Pawan Kalyan will narrate the Telugu and Malayalam versions, while other well-known actors will narrate the English and Hindi versions, the filmmakers said.
While the movie has special significance for Christians, it is ‘intended for a global audience’, Rao said.
Christians in India number 24 million, or about 2.3 percent of the country’s population.
Religious Indian films have traditionally used child actors to highlight the ‘innocence, sanctity and divinity’ of religious figures, the director said. Rao’s film will follow that tradition, using the child actors to depict adult characters as well as children.
American makeup artist Christien Tinsley, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on ‘The Passion of the Christ’, will also be involved.