Tamhane’s The Disciple wins best screenplay at Venice fest

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Director Chaitanya Tamhane won the best screenplay award for his Marathi-language feature The Disciple at the Venice Film Festival that saw Chinese-American filmmaker Chloe Zhao bagging the top prize of the coveted Golden Lion for her drama Nomadland.

The winners of the main competition were announced by the festival jury during the closing ceremony, held on Saturday and live-streamed globally.

Headed by two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, the jury also included directors Joanna Hogg, Christian Petzold and Veronika Franz, novelist Nicola Lagioia and actors Ludivine Sagnier and Matt Dillon.

Mr. Tamhane, the wunderkind filmmaker of Indian cinema, became the first director from the country to compete in the main category of a European film festival after Mira Nair. Her film Monsoon Wedding won the the Golden Lion at the festival in 2001.

The Disciple looks at the world of classical musicians on the fringes of success. It follows Sharad Nerulkar, played by 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.

“Writing ‘The Disciple’ was by far the most challenging and painful endeavour I have ever undertaken. This honour means a lot to me and it will encourage me to keep pushing my own boundaries even further.”

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