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Victor Banerjee plays Indian guru Paramhansa Yogananda

Indo Asian News Service
23 November 2013

Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) Victor Banerjee of "A Passage to India" fame is playing the role of iconic Indian guru Paramhansa Yogananda in a film that traces the spiritual life of his late American devotee Swami Kriyananda.

Produced by Kriya Movies and Yogananda Films, the two-hour English language movie "The Answer" was shot across three continents - India, Romania and the US.

The Gorakhpur-born Yogananda moved to the US in 1920 to spread Kriya Yoga and died there in 1952, six years after writing his still best selling spiritual classic, "Autobiography of a Yogi".

The Romania-born Kriyananada, originally Donald Walters, met Yogananda in the US in 1948 at the age of 22 and spent his entire life teaching Kriya Yoga, Sanatan Dharma (universal religion) and meditation in India and around the world. He passed away this year.

Producer Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul told IANS here that Kriyananda wrote the script and was picturised narrating his life story in the backdrop of Kolkata, where Yogananda spent his early years, just before his death.

"He (Kriayananda) passed away just two months after this shooting. Maybe he knew he was not going to be around for long," said Kaul, who is pitching the movie at the sidelines of the ongoing International Film Festival of India here.

"The movie is in English," she added. "But we plan to dub it in various languages including Italian and Hindi."

The movie has music taken from the 400 pieces of music written by Kriyananda.

Thirty eight days of hectic shooting took place in Kolkata (India), Bucharest, Sinaia and Brasov (Romania) and Los Angeles.

With post production procedures expected to take some 10 months, "The Answer" is set for release next year, Kaul said.

The role of Kriyananda has been played by Leon Gulaptis from Australia. Pavan Kaul, a Bollywood veteran known for his technical expertise, is the director. Hiroo Keswani is the cinematographer and Aseem Sinha is the editor.

Kaul pointed out the challenges of shooting a movie related to the 1920s and 1930s in today's world.

"In three countries we had to ensure that everything was just perfect - the cars, the roads, the trains. It was a challenging task. But in the end, we achieved it."

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