Chaitanya Tamhane’s sophomore Marathi feature film, The Disciple , will compete for the prestigious Golden Lion at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, where the film will also have its world premiere.
In 2014, Mr. Tamhane’s directorial debut, Court , had premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and won the Best Film in the Horizons category. “I want to thank the Venice film festival for showing this faith in my work again after Court . This is an important milestone for not just for us but also for the Indian independent cinema movement,” said Mr. Tamhane.
The Disciple is not just the only Indian film to compete in the main competition section at Venice this year but also the first Indian film in nearly two decades to be selected in main competition at one of the three major European film festivals: Venice, Cannes and Berlin. The last Indian film to compete at Venice was Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding , which won the Golden Lion in 2001. “Over the last 76 years, the competition in Venice has showcased some of the absolute best films in cinema history,” said Mr. Tamhane.
Complex realities of life
The film 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.
Ivan Ayr’s sophomore feature film, Milestone , will be the only Indian film to premiere at Venice’s Horizontal section this year. 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 offline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will take place from September 2 to 12 with physical distancing protocols. Daniele Luchetti’s Lacci will be the first Italian movie to open the festival in 11 years and the line-up includes big-ticket titles like Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland , starring Francis McDormand, and Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks .