EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has acquired the world rights to the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s best script and the nominee for the Spirit Award, The Disciple, which is produced by Oscar-winning actor Alfonso Cuaron.
The drama from Mumbai, written, directed and edited by Chaitanya Tamhane, tells the story of Sharad Nerulkar who dedicated his life to singing an Indian classical music singer, diligently following the traditions and discipline of the old masters, his guru and his father . But over the years, Sharad wonders whether it is really possible to achieve the excellence he has sought.
Performers are Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat and Kiran Yadnyopavit. Vivek Gomber produces.
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The film won the FIPRESCI Prize in Venice as well as the Prize for Best Screenplay before starring in Toronto, where it won the Amplify Voices Award.
Cuaron mentored Tamhane after making his feature film debut in 2014 with the favorite dish of the festival, where Tamhane won the Lion Of The Future Award in Venice.
Director Tamhane said of his new film, “The story of The Disciple came from my own search for excellence and direction. It’s about how many of us follow all the rules and still sometimes find that something is missing. I was honored to have the opportunity to work with a creative genius (and my mentor) like Alfonso Cuarón, who ran Roma and Gravity. And now, Netflix didn’t just acquire it to stream to a sophisticated global audience. I am truly grateful and humble that the stalwarts of global industry have found this film worthy. A lot of research is done to make a film, and my goal as a filmmaker has always been to authentically tell my story in a dramatic setting. You also have to afford the audience’s intelligence and intuition to invest in your story, regardless of the cultural context. I’m glad this approach worked well for The Disciple. “
Alfonso Cuarón commented, “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices in contemporary cinema and I am thrilled that The Disciple is being enjoyed by audiences around the world.”
Pratiksha Rao, Director, Content Acquisition at Netflix India, added, “We want to be home to the best films and filmmakers in India. As we expand our film schedule and tell more diverse stories from across the country, we are excited to be home to Chaitanya Tamhanes, The Disciple. A beautiful story of pursuit, struggle and self-doubt, the film celebrates the magic of visual storytelling against a backdrop of Indian classical music that we can’t wait to share with the world. “