The Walt Disney Company in India officially announced its first locally developed studio project aimed specifically at Southern audiences, a yet to be named epic fantasy adventure, which is scheduled to release in January 2011. The film, which commenced production in November 2009, features a host of leading local talent including Siddharth, Shruti Haasan, Lakshmi Manchu, and Harshitha.
"We are thrilled to be working with such a high caliber cast and a team of talented filmmakers on this exciting film which will appeal to Indian moviegoers of all ages," said Mr. Mahesh Samat, managing director, The Walt Disney Company India Pvt. ltd.
Outside of the US, India is one of the largest markets Disney has invested in for local production. "As we work to build a family entertainment brand in India we plan to provide Indian audiences with an unparalleled roster of locally relevant stories and engaging characters and will continue to tap into the local creative ecosystem to develop content which resonates with Indian kids and families," Mr. Samat added.
The fantasy adventure film is set in the fictitious teardrop shaped land of Sangarashtra and explores the inseparable bond between man and the myths that remain relevant even today. The story focuses on the journey of a nine year old girl with special healing powers and her quest to save Sangarashtra from the tyranny of an evil Queen, played by Lakshmi Manchu. The girl portrayed by Hrishitha is protected by a blind swordsman played by Siddharth who faces great adversity and helps the girl on her epic journey. Shruti Haasan plays a gypsy woman whose destiny is tied into that of the swordsman and plays his love interest.
The Telugu language movie, which will be dubbed in Tamil is expected to broaden the company's appeal to southern India and is being produced by Mr. K. Raghavendra Rao who is renowned for his expertise and experience in developing films for the South and is directed by national award winning director Mr. Prakash Rao Kovelamudi.
"The story is an epic tale of adventure and fantasy and it was a great challenge to bring these amazing worlds and characters to life," said Mr. Kovelamudi. "We are immensely proud to work with Disney on this project. With its legacy of incredible storytelling and creating enduring characters they are the perfect partners for this film".