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Filmek

Vanaja

India/USA
Director: Rajnesh DOMALPALLI
112 min. 2006 35mm, Colour,
with dialogue, Telugu, English subtitled
Distributor: Rohit Sharma / IDream Independent Prod.
E-mail:
Producer: Latha R. Domalapalli
E-mail:
Screenplay: Rajnesh Domalpalli
Cinematographer: Milton Kam
Music: Bhaskara S. Narayanan, Indira Amperiani
Editor: Robert Q. Lovett, Rajnesh Domalpalli
Cast:
Mamatha Bhukya
Urmila Dammannagari
Ramachandriah Marikanti

Set in rural South India, a place where social barriers are built stronger than fort walls, VANAJA explores the chasm that divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age.

Vanaja is the 14 year-old daughter of a poor, low caste fisherman, struggling with mounting debt. When a sooth-sayer predicts that she will be a great dancer one day, she goes to work in the house of the local landlady, in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance while earning a keep.

She is hired as a farmhand, and her vivacious ways soon catch the landlady’s eye, securing her the mistress’ mentorship. She excels at the art, and seems to be on a steadily ascending path when Shekhar, Rama Devi’s 23 year old son – handsome, muscular and rather insecure, returns from the US.

Sexual chemistry is ignited between them, but the situation suddenly turns ugly when Vanaja’s superior intellect pits her against Shekhar in a public incident ultimately humiliating him. Matters escalate, spiraling downwards and she is pitched into a tale of class, family and animus from which there is only one escape.

Major screenings, presentations:
  • Toronto Intl. Film Festival, Berlin Intl. Film Festival
  • San Francisco Intl. Film Festival
  • Sydney Intl. Film Festival
  • Rio Intl. Film Festival
  • Ghent Intl. Film Festival
  • Festroia Intl. Film Festival etc. (131 Intl. Film Festivals)
Prizes:
  • Best First Feature Berlin Intl. Film Festival 2007
  • Best Narrative Feature IAAC Film Festival, New York, 2006
  • Special Mention Hamptons Intl. Film Festival 2006
  • Prix CIFEJ Cairo Intl. Film Festival for Children 2007
  • Special Intl. Jury Prize Cairo Intl. Film Festival for Children 2007
  • Gollapudi Srinivas Mem. Award Chennai, India 2007
  • Best Feature Film Memphis Intl. Film Festival, Tennessee 2007
  • Best Intl. Film Sacramento Intl. Film Festival, California 2007
  • Best Actress Sacramento Intl. Film Festival, California 2007
  • Platinum Remi Best Intl. Film Worldfest, Houston, Texas 2007
  • Special Mention IFFLA, Los Angeles, California 2007
  • Special Jury Prize Prod. Design River Run Intl. Film Festival, N. Carolina 2007
  • Achievement Award Newport Beach Film Festival, Los Angeles, California 2007
  • Best Foreign Film Mexico Intl. Film Festival, Tulum/ Rosario, Mexico 2007
  • Milos Macourek Award Zlin Intl. Film Festival for Youth and Children, Czech Republic 2007
  • Best Cinematography Rhode Island Inlt. Film Festival, 2007
  • Best Film Rimouski Intl. Film Festival for Children, Canada 2007
  • Best Actress Rimouski Intl. Film Festival for Children, Canada 2007
  • Prix CIFEJ Rimouski Intl. Film Festival for Children, Canada 2007
  • Best Directorial Debut Lola Kenya Intl. Film Festival, Kenya 2007
  • Best Actress Asian Fest of 1st Films, Singapore 2007
  • First Prize, Live Action Feature Media Bridge Intl. Film Festival for Youth, Chicago, Illinois 2007
  • Golden Goat Ale Kino Intl. Film Festival for Children, Poznan, Poland 2007
  • Best Actress Barbados Intl. Film Festival, Barbados 2007
  • Atlantis Award Moondance Intl. Film Festival, Colorado, 2008
  • Best Feature Rome Intl. Film Festival, Georgia 2008
  • Best Foreign Film Prince Edward Island Intl. Film Festival, Canada 2008
  • Best Feature Film Baltimore Intl. Film Festival, Baltimore 2008
  • Best Feature Film Intl. Vilnius Film Festival for Children & Youth, Lithuania 2008
  • Best Feature Film Black Earth Film Festival, Galesburg, Illinois 2008
  • Best Foreign Film Mammoth Intl. Film Festival, California 2008
  •  
Rajnesh DOMALPALLI

Rajnesh Domalpalli comes from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh in South India. His debut feature, Vanaja, was his Thesis at Columbia University. The Film screened in 131 film festivals in 47 Countries, winning 31 Intl. Awards and 2 Spirit Nominations including the Best Debut at Berlin 2007.



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