Venice Film Critics’ Week to open with animated film from India

Set on the streets of Mumbai, Bombay Rose moves from real life to fantasy, accompanied by much-loved Bollywood songs
Gitanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose will be the first Indian animation film ever to open the Venice International Film Critics’ Week this year. A Cinestaan Film Company production, the hand-painted animation film is written, designed and directed by Ms. Rao and marks her feature film debut. The August 29 screening will mark the world premiere of the film. “It has been our privilege to work with Gitanjali and Paperboat Studios for two years to bring this piece of beautiful cinema to life,” said producer Rohit Khattar of Cinestaan in a press statement. He described the film as “a stunning love letter to Mumbai and its people”. “A chronicle of the people who migrate from small towns, seeking minimal life in the maximum city”, the film is based on true events and “explores the ruthlessness of a society where the love and life that reign on the big screen can crush you in its mean streets”.
Painted frame by frame
Painted painstakingly and passionately, frame by frame, something Ms. Rao is renowned for, it is about a red rose bringing together three tales of impossible loves –love between two flower sellers, love between two women, and the love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Set on the streets of Mumbai, it moves from real life to fantasy, accompanied by much loved Bollywood songs. The depiction of urban reality is done in a documentary style, whereas the intricate dream worlds are inspired from the rich and varied folk art styles of India.
Critically acclaimed last October for her debut as an actor, Ms. Rao is a self-taught animator and film-maker who emerged onto the international stage with her animated short, Printed Rainbow , which premiered in Cannes Critic’s week 2006 (and won the Kodak Discovery Award, Petite Rail D’Or and Prix Du Jeune). It went on to win 25 awards and was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2008. Her five independently produced animated shorts — Blue , Orange , Printed Rainbow , Chai and True Love Story — have been to over 150 International film festivals and received more than 30 awards. The Venice International Film Critics’ Week is an independent, parallel section organized by the National Union of Italian Film Critics during the Venice International Film Festival.
This year the festival is taking place from August 27 to September 7.
Bombay Rose is co-produced with Film d’Ici and was delivered at Mumbai- based Paperboat Animation Studios. Working creatively alongside Ms. Rao was acclaimed sound designer P.M. Satheesh.

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