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Locarno Film Festival recognises Vanaja

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Critically acclaimed Telugu film ‘Vanaja’ was screened at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on

Saturday with houseful audiences. The film that was directed by Rajneesh Domapalli is on the backdrop of rural Andhra Pradesh during the period 1960. The story revolves around a 15 year old girl named Vanaja whose dream was to become a world class Kuchipudi dances. Mamata Bhukya essayed the title role as Vanaja.

According to director Rajneesh Domapalli, ‘Vanaja’ had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. It also won the best debut award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007. ‘Vanaja’, made in 2005 was released in USA and South Africa. The director informed that he would soon be releasing it in India. He said, “I chose some of them from middle class families for the characters in the film and trained them for a year or two. The lead actress didn’t know Kuchipudi dance and she learnt it from scratch. All artists look natural on screen and their performances make it an interesting watch.”

The director also said that his next film would be ‘Avani’ and to make this movie he would first release the script as a novel and make the film with the money earned from its sales.