By Utpal Borpujari
In a rare honour for Indian animation cinema, Cannes award-winner Gitanjali Rao’s debut animation feature “Bombay Rose”, produced by Cinestaan Film Company, has been chosen as the opening film of the Critics Week section of the Venice International Film Festival.
It will be the world premiere of the film in the festival starting on August 29, it was announced in Mumbai. “Bombay Rose” is the first Indian animation film ever to be selected to open Venice Critic’s Week.
“Bombay Rose” is the story of a flower seller who has to make the choice between protecting her family or allowing herself to fall in love. This touching story is set on the streets of Mumbai and moves from real life to fantasy, accompanied by much-loved Bollywood songs from the cinema halls.
Painted frame by frame, for which Gitanjali is famed, it is a chronicle of the people who migrate from small towns, seeking minimal life in the maximum city.
Rao, who also made her acting debut in Shoojit Sircar’s “October”, has made several animation shorts earlier, including “Printed Rainbow” which had won three awards in Cannes Critic’s Week in 2006.
Her animation shorts such as “Blue”, “Orange”, “Printed Rainbow”, “Chai”
and “TrueLoveStory” have been screened in over 150 film festivals
and received 30 awards.
“I have always wanted to paint stories about people who live and love in the streets of Bombay, never become success stories, yet their struggle for survival makes heroes out of them. This is the city with its cast of unsung heroes and heroines that I want to share with the world and why I started this labour of love 6 years ago,” Rao said about her film in the statement.
“My hand painted short films have travelled the globe and I have found connections to my films in the most unusual places. The fans of my stories give me confidence that my first feature film, Bombay Rose, about simple people with their simple yet impossible dreams can connect with people around the world. I am thrilled that Bombay Rose will be the first Indian animation film to open Venice Critics Week,” she said.
Producer Rohit Khattar, chairman of Cinestaan Film Company, said, “Gitanjali’s beautiful film has made us and India proud by being invited to open Critics Week at Venice. It has been our privilege to work with Gitanjali and PaperBoat Studios over the last two years to bring this piece of beautiful cinema to life.’’