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     VANAJA
India/ USA, 2006, 111 mins, Color (Adult Content)

MIDWEST PREMIERE

Writer & Director: Rajnesh Domalpalli
Producer: Latha Rajendra Kumar
Executive Producer: Andrew Lund
Original Music: Indira Amperiani, Bhaskara S. Narayanan
Dance Director: Srinivas Devarakonda
Cinematographer: Milton Kam
Editors: Rajnesh Domalpalli, Robert Q. Lovett
Production Designer: Nagulu Busigampala
Cast: Mamatha Bhukya, Urmila Dammannagari, Ramachandriah Marikanti, Krishnamma Gundimalla, Karan Singh, Bhavanni Renukunta, Krishna Garlapati, Prabhu Garlapati, Ram Babu Tarra, Veeramma Sadula

http://www.vanajathefilm.com/


BEST DEBUT WINNER 2007 BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
(TELUGU WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)


Vanaja is the 14 year-old daughter of a poor, low caste fisherman, struggling with dwindling catches and 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, Rama Devi, in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance while earning a keep. She is hired as a farmhand, and her vivacious ways and spunk soon catch the landlady’s eye. To keep her out of trouble, Rama promotes her to a kitchen underhand, where she comes up against the old, crusty and extremely loyal Radhamma – Rama’s cook. It isn’t long before Vanaja gets herself invited to play a game of ashta chamma against Rama. Seeing that losing isn’t the mistress’s forte, Vanaja deliberately gives up her game, a fact that doesn’t go unnoticed, and which eventually secures her the landlady’s mentorship, first in music, and then in dance. Vanaja excels at the art, and seems to be on a steadily ascending path when Shekhar, Rama 23 year-old, handsome son returns from the U.S. to run for local political elections. Sexual chemistry is ignited between Shekhar and Vanaja (still a minor at 15), as flirtation and innuendo bloom. But, the situation suddenly turns ugly when Vanaja’s superior intellect pits her against Shekhar in a public incident. Matters escalate and she is pitched into a tale of class and family from which there is only one escape.
    --press kit and http://www.vanajathefilm.com/synopsis.html
Rajnesh Domalpalli
Rajnesh Domalpalli comes from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh in South India. He spent his childhood in small rural towns associated with dam construction projects where his father worked as a civil engineer for the government. After completing his education he worked as a Computer Engineer in California’s Silicon Valley before deciding to take up Film at Columbia University in New York and graduating with an MFA in 2006. Vanaja is not only his first Feature but also his Thesis at Columbia. Rajnesh loves writing and dabbled in penning short stories during his spare time. One of these, The Dowry, was eventually picked up and broadcast by BBC’s World Service in Sept 1984 and Aug 1989.
PRECEDED BY SHORT FILM

          PUSH
Italy, 2006, 16 mins, Color

Directed by: Loris Lai
Cast: Giorgio Caputo, Massimo De Santis, Michele Alahique, Carola Stagnaro, Franco Trevisi
Screenplay: Loris Lai
Photography: Vladan Radovic
Editing: Beatrice Corti
Set design: Luca Filaci
Costume design: Gaia Guidotti
Music: Rossano Baldini
Sound: Nicola Sobieski
Producer: Loris Lai
Production: MAMASANFILM

A man desperate to support his family, agrees to be a part of a simple bank robbery with tragic results.

 
Showings
06/8/07 02:00 PMVenue 2 (SCA)
Saugatuck Center for the Arts
400 Culver Street
 
06/10/07 04:30 PMVenue 2 (SCA)
Saugatuck Center for the Arts
400 Culver Street
 


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