Actor Prakash Raj chose to star in Priyadarshan's Tamil film Sila Samayangalil for free, said the director.
"Prakash Raj did the film free of cost," Priyadarshan said on Monday here at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, where the film was screened.
It tells the story of eight characters who arrive at a pathology lab at 9 am to give their blood for an AIDS test and it ends at 5 pm when the results arrive.
"I could have easily made a documentary on AIDS but it would have been seen by only a select section of the society."
Priyadarshan believes that when "a film like this is made with humour and a storyline that also touches upon remedies, symptoms and more", the reach is better.
The film has made it to the final round of selection for the Golden Globe Awards, which will be held on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
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