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ebay launches Anthem for Budhia Singh: Born to run in marketing gimmic

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NEW DELHI: In a one-of-a-kind initiative inspired by a scene in the film, e-bay has created an Anthem for the forthcoming feature ‘Budhia Singh: Born to Run’ based on a true story.

The film tells the story of five-year old Budhia Singh, whose talent in running was discovered by judo coach Biranchi Das who rescued him from one of Bhubaneswar's most notorious slums and helped him achieve incredible heights.

The Anthem is a motivational song with a scene showing e-bay gifting shoes to children, while encouraging them to follow their dreams.

Ebay Director Marketing Shivani Suri Dhanda told indiantelevision.com that it had generally been the policy of ebay that spent an equal amount on the promotion and marketing of an item as on acquiring it for putting it on sale on its platform.

Referring to the Anthem – which was released earlier by actor Manoj Bajpayee who enacts role of Biranchi Das – she said it was already playing on FM Radio and TV music channels and would be released on all digital platforms. It was also being promoted on all social media platforms.

She is it is expected to be used in the film either as backdrop of the initial or closing listing of cast and crew.

She said ebay had decided that for every pair of shoes bought on its site, it would give one to a poor child, and she expected to give around one thousand pairs in this manner to the poor.

Viacom Senior Vice-President Rudrarup Datta toldth website that the platform provides a different channel to reach out to the audiences since ebay has its own customer base.

In any case, the message of the film comes out very clearly through the Anthem song.

Furthermore, those who get the free shoes from ebay would also be curious about the film.

Asked about the authenticity of the story, he said this had been done by the co-producer Code Red. Though Budhia who is now fourteen and hopes to take part in the 2020 Olympics has only seen portions of the film, he seemed satisfied and also astonished that a child resembling him – Mayur Patole - had been found from a village near Pune to enact his role after audition of thousands of children.

Earliier at the press meet, Shivani claimed that ebay was the world’s largest online shopping platform with a presence in 39 countries. Out of a billion-odd items on sale internationally, the Indian wing of the platform alone had 30 million items.

She said this film had been chosen as it was all about the passion for a particular sport, just as the shopping site was all about passion.

Datta said cinema is a medium for social change and so Viacom had been making stories on true stories.

Bajpayee said that he had earlier acted in films like Gangs of Wasseypur and Special 26 by Viacom as they believed in using cinema to send out positive messages. He said this was a film of aspirations and fulfilling dreams.

Referring to the present film, he said every creative person wanted someone who could mentor him. Just as he had found the great drama director Barry John, Budhia Singh had been discovered by Biranchi Das. There was need to nurture sports.

He said that though he had himself seen around nine years earlier on news television screens that questions were raised on the methodology of Biranchi Das, no one questioned his motives.
Viacom18 Motion Pictures have earlier produced films based on true stories, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom and Manjhi – The Mountain Man.

“People have misjudged Biranchi Das. His method might be wrong. We can have debate over his methods of teaching but his intention was good. He saw the talent in Budhia Singh and he wanted to represent him India in Olympics,” Bajpayee said.

Produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Code Red Film Productions and directed by Soumendra Padhi, the film will run in cinemas on 5 August 2016.

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