BBC plans TV serial on Mahatma Gandhi

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Nagpur, Sep 28 (UNI) The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is planning to produce a television serial on Mahatma Gandhi, with an Indian director and cast.

''The serial will consist of 26 parts of 30 minutes each. It will be made in English and Hindi, with BBC telecasting the English version,'' Devendra Khandelwal, a Mumbai-based short film and documentary maker, who will direct the serial, told UNI.

A 60-year old theatre actor from Mumbai, identified as 'Dr Sooraj', has been chosen to play the Mahatma, but the search is still on for an actress to play the role of Kasturba, he said.

''I want the characters in the serial to be realistic. That's the reason I have chosen the 60-year old Dr Sooraj for the main role. I want my Kasturba to look exactly like Kasturba. I have been searching for my Kasturba for the last two years, but in vain,'' Mr Khandelwal said. ''I have spent five years working on the script for the serial. So I don't mind spending a little more time looking for (an actress to play) Kasturba,'' he added.

The serial would be shot simultaneously in English and Hindi with the same cast and crew, the director said. The Hindi version would be telecast by an Indian television channel, and he would start looking for a slot, once actual production commenced, Mr Khandelwal opined.

Incidentally, Mr Khandelwal claims that he has made the highest number of short films on father of the nation, including ''Mani Bhawan''.

UNI AB SR SV KN1512

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