‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ not the first film on Milkha Singh?
New Delhi: That’s true. The Farhan Akhtar starrer, based on the life and times of Milkha Singh, is not the first movie to be made on legendary ‘Flying Sikh.’ Instead, a documentary titled 'The Flying Sikh - Milkha Singh' was Milkha’s first portrayal ever on large screen.
Directed by S.P. Ganguli and cinematographer Deepak Haldankar, the documentary was submitted to NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) in 1970.
Produced by Films Division Government of India, the documentary focussed more on the life of the legendary athlete after he retired from sports. The high point of the film is that it has Milkha Singh himself talking about his life. The real-life footages of significant moments in Singh's life have been taken from NFDC's archives.
Incidentally, it was Haldankar’s first assignment, and it took a 17-day outdoor to complete the documentary, following which, it was released by NFDC in 15,000 theatres across the country.
According to Haldankar, then 20, the crew camped at Amritsar and spent 12 hours a day for 17 days with the legendary athlete to prepare their documentary.