Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’ bags Best Screenplay Award at Venice Film Festival

Byline by – Vinayak Heliwal

Indian Director Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’ on Saturday won the Award for Best Screenplay at the 77th Venice Film Festival. This is the second award the film got at the festival. Earlier, it was also honored with the International Critics ‘Prize awarded by FIPRESCI.

The last Indian film to win the prestigious FIPRESCI award at Venice was Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Mathilukal in 1990.

The film Disciple is about Sharad Nerulkar (Aditya Modak), an Indian Classical Vocalist trying to achieve purity in his work as he has been raised on the stories of his father and guru about the masters of the past. It is Tamhane’s follow up to his debut feature Court which was screened in the Orizzonti (Horizons) category at Venice in 2016.

Filmmaker Chaitanya said in a statement, “Writing the Disciple was by far the most challenging and painful endeavor I have undertaken. This honor means a lot to me and it will encourage me to keep pushing my boundaries even further. I want to dedicate this award to all the musicians, researchers, authors, and historians who helped open the doors to the incredible world of Indian Classical music for me”.

The Marathi -language Film is the first Indian Movie in 20 years to be chosen for the main competition of a European Film Festival (Cannes, Venice, Berlin) after Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding in Venice in 2001.

Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the festival. The film stars Oscar -winner Frances McDormand as the lead.

The 77th Venice Film Festival, which concludes on Saturday with the announcement of main award winners is the first major international Film event to take physically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Disciple was also selected as the only Indian film this year among the official selection of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

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