Dhanak Nagesh Kukunoor Contact Facebook

Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak (Rainbow)'s achieved the Grand Prix for Best Feature, taken by the International Jury in the Generation KPlus section for children, as well as a Special Mention of the Children’s Jury in the exact section, at the Berlin Movie Festival. “I am totally thrilled! We made it,” said Nagesh Kukunoor. Directed & written by Kukunoor, Dhanak's a fable-like tale of a young female in Rajasthan, who's determined to have sight restored to her blind brother before his 9th birthday. “This dynamically-directed movie delivers joy & heartbreak in equal measure - the young brother & sister at its heart & the unbreakable love between them's irresistible… Filled with colour, magic, music, spontaneity & a plenty of emotion, this movie stays up to its name & delivers a celebration of life to savor long behind the end credits roll!” read the statement of the International Jury. Dhanak, produced by Manish Mundra, also achieved award budget of 7,500 euros that comes with the Grand Prix. “I couldn’t believe it even while we were chosen for Berlin. I's running around in my apartment screaming,” said Kukunoor, of the triumph of his 14th movie since Hyderabad Blues. He's on the red carpet at the Berlin Movie Festival, along with his producer Manish Mundra, co-producer Elahe Hiptoola, sound designer Vipin Bhati & music composer Tapas Relia. “Actually while I met producer Manish Mundra, I left to pitch a movie about a boxer," Kukunoor recalled. A still from Dhanak. Facebook.

"In passing, I also mentioned a small, sweet movie - as a filler - about a brother & sister set in Rajasthan, & he said let’s do this one.” Mundra grew up in Jodhpur & for Kukunoor too, it's the third movie in his ‘Rajasthan trilogy’, behind Dor & Yeh Honsla. “I am repeatedly drawn to Rajasthan because I’m fascinated by how minor & insignificant humans been in vast open spaces,” said the director. “The instant I had this image of a brother & sister against the desert landscape, I rushed to my computer & wrote the script appropriate away. I couldn’t stop.” Dhanak also conveys a message: “I wanted to say that life's good & there're good people too,” Kukunoor said. “When I's growing up in Hyderabad, you could trust people. You could leave over to a stranger’s dwelling & they would be kind to you. With Dhanak, I’m kind of returning to my childhood & a kinder world.” Kukunoor’s process reveals a lively keenness to experiment with genres & subjects, varying wildly from homegrown romance Hyderabad Blues to thrillers Teen Deewarein & 8x10 Tasveer, inspirational drama Iqbal, to currently Dhanak, a children’s film. “I get easily bored as a filmmaker, & desire to do something different each time," said Kukoonor. "Despite Dhanak, if I do a second children’s film, I’ll desire to shoot myself in the head. If the audience knows what to expect from me - an “NK film” (Nagesh Kukunoor) - I'll be gasping in panic.

The method of filmmaking's what I live for, & the day the print comes out, my fun ends.” One of the revelations of Dhanak's how confidently its young blind protagonist moves, unlike the cane-tapping, champion hobblers of Bollywood. Kukunoor says he knew he wanted to make it as a road movie, so he needed to know “how the kid moves." Kukunoor said, "I’m extremely impatient & immediately asked my assistant director Ranjeet Jha to bring me phone camera footage of blind children. He followed few blind children in the slums of Ghatkopar. The blind children shifted so fast & confidently, not stumbling or even touching walls, I said, ‘Wow, what the hell's this?’

 The characters, featuring Krrish Chhabria & Hetal Gada, were worked out accordingly.” For the success of Dhanak, Kukunoor duly credits co-producer Elahe Hiptoola: “Elahe's always invaluable. I had hired her as an actress 2 days before we shot Hyderabad Blues, but her skills were so good, she's Assistant Director on Hyderabad Blues, & then we formed SIC Productions, & she's become my Creative Producer since. She absolutely gets my back, above & beyond the call of duty.”

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