Venezia 77 has announced its lineup today and do we have great news!
Marathi feature The Disciple is going to compete at the 77th Venice International Film Festival for the Golden Lion amidst eighteen selected feature films, including films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Amos Gitai, Majid Majidi, Gianfranco Rosi and Chloe Zhao. We have waited for six years but it was worth it. Chaitanya Tamhane, the filmmaker behind one of the best films in recent times, Court, is back!
Court, which was also his debut film and also in Marathi, had premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and won the Best Film in the Horizons category. The film won the National Award for Best Feature Film and was India’s official entry to the Oscars.
The Disciple is the first Indian movie in nearly two decades to be selected in the main competition at the film festival. The last Indian film to compete at Venice was Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, which won the Golden Lion in 2001.
The Disciple is set in the world of Hindustani classical music in Mumbai. It follows Sharad Nerulkar, who has devoted himself to becoming an Indian classical vocalist. Initiated into this centuries-old tradition by his father, he follows his dream with sincerity and discipline, committing himself entirely to his artistic journey. But as the years pass, Sharad is forced to negotiate between the complex realities of life in Mumbai and his chosen path.
Starring Aditya Modak as Sharad, the main cast includes Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, and Kiran Yadnyopavit. The Disciple is written and directed by Tamhane and produced by Vivek Gomber via Zoo Entertainment, who also produced and starred in Court. Tabla maestro Aneesh Pradhan has worked on the music design, while Naren Chandavarkar has produced and pre-mixed the music.
The jury is headed by Cate Blanchett and includes British director Joanna Hogg, Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiuand French actor Ludivine Sagnier. The Disciple will compete for the Golden Lion for Best Film, Silver Lion for Best Director, and Award for Best Screenplay, among others.
Two Indian films have also made it to the Orrizonti / Horizon section of Venezia 77. Ivan Ayr’s sophomore feature film, Milestone/ Meel Patthar and Sushma Khadepaun’s short film Anita will both premiere at the festival. Ayr’s debut film, Soni, had also premiered at Venice in 2018.
The 77th Venice International Film is the first major film festival to take place in real life since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival will run from September 2 to 12 with social and physical distancing protocol in place.