It’s not easy for a debut director to mount a film based on Mars Orbiter Mission, arguably Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) most ambitious project to date. If Jagan Shakti was lucky to find powerful artistes-Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari and Sharman Joshi —who believed in his vision, he also credits members of India’s premier space agency for helping him tell the story of Mission Mangal.
Jagan Shakti says, ‘My sister Sujata [Krishna] works there, so I did extensive interviews with the team of the Mangalyaan mission. ISRO was helpful in terms of giving us access to the material and scientists. The right balance between the art director and the VFX team helped us design the rocket, which was the most important component of the film. While we had the exact diagrams in possession, we couldn’t have designed a similar-looking device.’
Mission Mangal is about India’s first mission to Mars, also known as Mars Orbiter Mission. It is directed by Jagan Shakti and produced by Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions and Fox Star Studios. Mission Mangal releases on Independence Day, 15 August.