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Bolly-jatra combo in Lalpan Bibi

- Mukesh Golmaal Tiwari to be part of Abhishek Behura’s debut venture

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 24: Two big names from two different genres of acting have been roped in for an upcoming film.

Bollywood actor Mukesh Tiwari and renowned jatra artiste Daitari Panda will be making their debut in Odia cinema in the film Lalpan Bibi, which is the namesake of a popular film of yesteryears. Anu Choudhary will also feature in the film directed by debutant Abhishek Behura.

Mukesh Tiwari known for his roles such as Bachcha Yadav in Gangaajal and Vasooli in the Golmaal series will play a conman who can do anything for money.

“I have done regional films before. They have a different flavour and promising future. I learnt a thing or two about acting from theatre actor Robin Das who is from Odisha,” said Tiwari, who will be here in April for the shoot. Behura had offered him the role while both were part of the Hindi film Bloody Ishq. “He loved the script and started discussing the scenes very passionately,” said Behura.

The antagonist of the film will be Daitari Panda. The director had met the celebrated jatra artiste two years ago and the character was written keeping him in mind. In spite of being a popular artiste, Panda has never acted in films.

As he keeps touring the state with his theatre troupe, he did not take up films. He also rejected a couple of roles offered to him earlier as he felt they were badly written. “It will be a gift for my fans. I have finally accepted the big-screen challenge. Unlike jatra, facing the camera is a different ballgame all together. I have to reduce the tone and tenor of my acting. After 34 years of experience, I feel like a student now,” said Panda.

Dismissing the speculations, Behura said his film would not be a remake of the 1985 classic film Lalpan Bibi starring Prashanta Nanda and Maheswata Ray. But the director, who has been an assistant director in a number of Hindi films, believes that he comes from the ‘Prashanta Nanda school of acting’. “Though the film will have a completely different story, it will be my tribute to Prashanta Bhaina, to whom I owe my knowledge of cinema,” he said.

The film’s mahurat is on February 14.