Director Gopichand Malineni, who has returned after successfully wrapping up the European schedule of his upcoming Telugu actioner “Winner”, says they shot a breathtaking horse racing climax sequence in Istanbul.

“We shot the climax in Istanbul race course. It’s a nail-biting horse racing sequence, featuring Sai Dharam Tej and the film’s antagonist Thakur Anoop Singh. The whole action episode was shot under the supervision of Bulgarian stunt director Kaloian Vodenicharov, who had worked in films such as ‘Baahubali’ and ‘World War Z’,” Malineni told IANS, adding he is thrilled with the output.

Before heading to Istanbul, the team shot three songs in Ukraine.

“At one point, the temperature had dropped to -2 degrees. Initially, we struggled to cope with the climate but a few days later we got used to it,” he said, claiming “Winner” is the first Indian film to be shot in Ukraine.

“Although the makers of ‘2.o’ had come before us, they didn’t shoot there. We were told that they had taken pictures of some locations in order to recreate the same in India,” he added.

Out of three songs, one was shot against some scenic backdrop of Ukraine.

“It’s a beautiful country and I would love to revisit for my future projects. We also shot a song against city backdrop and another one in a popular pub. The best time to visit the place, we were told, is during June-July when it’s summer,” he said.

From December 6, the next schedule of the film will commence in Ooty, followed by another one in Bengaluru.

Produced by Nallamalupu Bujji and Tagore Madhu, the film also stars Rakul Preet Singh.

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