Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nagesh Kukunoor’s "Dhanak" bags two awards at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival

Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak (Rainbow) bagged two awards - The Grand Prix for the best feature-length film and the Special Mention for the best feature film by The Children's Jury for Generation Kplus, at the recently concluded 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

The film, which is co-produced by Manish Mundra, Nagesh Kukunoor and Elahe Hiptoola, had its world premiere at the prestigious film festival, Berlinale held from February 5-15th, 2015. The only Indian feature selected in the festival was competing in the Generation Kplus category against films selected from across the world.

Nagesh who had promised himself to attend Berlinale only if his film makes it to the festival says,  “Dhanak's journey has been as magical as the film's story. To have this Berlinale honor be the culmination of a fantastic trip is what dreams are made of. Or maybe this is just the start of Dhanak's next journey.”

The thrilled producer, Manish Mundra informs, “The film received an overwhelming response at Berlinale. All the screenings of the film saw a fully packed house and cheering audience. The premiere screening, which was held at massive theatre of 1200 seats was sold out. At every screening, almost everyone stayed back for the Q&A and then mobbed the director outside the theatre.”

Manish produced the award-winning film Ankhon Dekhi and also co-produced Umrika, which has won the Audience Award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He also contributed 50 lakhs to Mumbai Film festival, 2014.

Quotes by International Jury
"This dynamically-directed film delivers joy and heartbreak in equal measure - the young brother and sister at its heart and the unbreakable love between them are irresistible. As we journey across the country with these two young people, we become deeply invested in their quirky “against all odds” quest. We were constantly surprised by the twists and turns in their journey, and the unusual, eccentric characters that awaits them at each and every juncture! Filled with color, magic, music, spontaneity and a plenty of emotion, this film lives up to its name and delivers a celebration of life to savor long after the end credits roll!"

Quotes by Children's Jury
"This year, we chose a colorful, touching and humorous film. The story and the performances of the young protagonists impressed us deeply."

The film which stars, Hetal Gada and Krrish Chhabria in the lead roles is about an eight-year-old blind boy whose 10-year-old sister promises him that he will get his vision back before he turns 9. The film follows the duo on a magical journey through the sand dunes of Rajasthan. The film also stars theatre actors, Vipin Sharma and Vibha Chhiber in the prominent roles.

Like Iqbal, Dhanak also explores the beautiful relationship of a brother and sister and the central character suffers from a disability, but in a dramatically diverse setting. This is also Nagesh’s second film with children after the much acclaimed Rockford.

The co-producer Elahe says, “The audience in Berlin was an eye opener. And I’m not saying this because of the reaction to Dhanak or the fact that they got every intended nuance. It was with the Q&A sessions. Needless to say I’m over the moon with not one but two awards at this prestigious festival. Have gotten the 1st pot of gold, and here is looking to cast our rainbow over many other skies.”

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