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9 years of Ninnindale: When Puneeth Rajkumar overcame his fear of heights for Hombale Films’ first production

Directed by Jayanth C Paranji, the film introduced Erica Fernandes to Kannada cinema

9 years of Ninnindale: When Puneeth Rajkumar overcame his fear of heights for Hombale Films’ first production
The late Power Star attempted sky diving for the first time in the film
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 09.04 AM, Jan 16, 2023

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Back in 2014 a newbie production house made baby steps in the Kannada film industry. The banner got the attention it sought because its debut venture was with none other than Sandalwood’s Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar. Exactly nine years ago on this day, their collaboration, Ninnindale, released in theatres and there began the journey of Hombale Films, which is, today, one of the biggest production houses in the country, having pledged a Rs 3,000 crore investment for the betterment of the entertainment industry in the next five years.

The film, which brought Telugu filmmaker Jayanth C Paranji to Sandalwood, was not a box office wonder, even though it was almost entirely shot in the US and saw the fresh pairing of Puneeth and Erica Fernandes. Ninnindale, which got its title from the popular Puneeth song from Milana, is best remembered for a lot of the daredevilry the Power Star did during the US schedule.

By his own admission in an interview with the Times of India, Puneeth had said that the rock climbing and sky-diving he did for the film helped him overcome his fear of heights. Puneeth was quoted as saying that he had the option of using a body double for the sequence, which was part of an adventure challenge he does with Erica, but he decided against it, as he felt that doing it himself would help ease him out of his fear of heights. Part of the challenge required the actor to indulge in a spot of mid-air paint-ball for which Puneeth was in unassisted free-fall for a bit, after which a professional joined him to ensure a smooth and safe landing. The sequence was shot at the Sky Ranch in New Jersey. An adventure freak, Puneeth had said that the experience was so exhilarating that he was then determined to become a certified sky diver.

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