The Chaitanya Tamhane directorial, The Disciple, which is backed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, will get an OTT release soon, it was confirmed on Wednesday. Tamhane’s Marathi drama has been acquired by Netflix, and the release date will be announced soon. “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices of contemporary cinema and I’m thrilled ‘The Disciple’ will be able to be enjoyed by audiences all around the world,” Cuaron said in a statement.
Tamhane asserts that the story of the film came from “my own search for excellence and direction”.
“It’s about how many of us follow all the rules and yet, sometimes, find that something is missing. I was honoured to get the opportunity to work with a creative genius (and my mentor) like Alfonso Cuaron — who directed Roma and Gravity,” he added.
Tamhane continued: “And now, not only has Netflix acquired it to stream to a discerning global audience. I’m truly grateful and humbled that global industry stalwarts have found this film worthy. A great deal of research goes into making a film and my aim as a filmmaker has always been to tell my story authentically within a dramatic framework. One also needs to afford the audience intelligence and intuition to be able to invest in your story, no matter what the cultural context may be. I’m glad this approach worked out well for ‘The Disciple’.”
The Disciple was awarded the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI, short for Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique) and the Best Screenplay award at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. It was also screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was named a winner of the Amplify Voices Award.
Recently, the film was nominated at the Film Independent Spirit Awards under the Best International Feature category.
The film stars Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat and Kiran Yadnyopavit.
Set in contemporary Mumbai, it follows an Indian classical music vocalist who, after years of diligent training and tradition, begins to wonder whether it is really possible to achieve the excellence he strives for.
“As we expand our film slate and tell more diverse stories from across the country, we are thrilled to be the home for Chaitanya Tamhane’s, ‘The Disciple’. The film is a beautiful story of aspiration, struggle and self-doubt, and celebrates the magic of visual storytelling in the backdrop of Indian classical music, that we can’t wait to share with the world,” said Pratiksha Rao, director, content acquisition, Netflix India.