Ten years after it was completed and won accolades at international film festivals, Indian director Rajan Khosa's debut movie Dance of The Winds is finally being released in India Friday.
The movie premiere was held at the PVR Juhu, a multiplex in northwest Mumbai, Thursday night.
Based on Rajan Khosa's own story, Dance of the Winds is about an Indian classical singer, Pallavi (Kitu Gidwani) who loses her voice after the death of her mother and mentor Karuna Devi (Kapila Vatsyayan).
After her husband (Bhaveen Gosain) and her loyal students desert her, Pallavi runs into her mother's music teacher (B.C. Sanyal). She takes strength from the teacher. She also meets a little urchin girl and budding singer Tara (Roshan Bano), who she is very impressed with. In the process of imitating the girl, Pallavi manages to regain her voice.
How she triumphs against all odds and survives a mental breakdown is what, in a nutshell, the movie is all about.
Explaining its delayed release in the country, Khosa said that the distributors in India earlier believed that Indian cinema audiences were not ready for a movie like Dance of The Winds and were reluctant to pick it up for India distribution.
"However, thanks to the multiplex chains, things have now changed for the better. PVR has come forward to show 'Dance of The Winds' in their theatre chains in Mumbai and New Delhi," he said.
Khosa emphasised the need for multiplexes to reserve at least one screen for non-commercial movies made by independent filmmakers as in the West.
He said he is delighted by the release, especially since the content of his debut movie is very much Indian and he wants Indians to see it. "Besides, it was largely shot in New Delhi - more than nine weeks," Khosa told IANS Thursday, before the premiere.
Before the movie went into production in 1997, Khosa faced a harrowing time raising funds. Finally, after Herculean efforts, six production companies from India, Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland and The Netherlands agreed to back the production venture. In India, the National Film Development Corporation part-financed the movie.
The music for the 90-minute movie has been composed by Shubha Mudgal and cinematography is by Piyush Shah. Robin Mukherjee has written the screenplay.
"Dance of The Winds" has won a series of international awards, including the Audience Award at the London Film Festival in 1997, Public Prize and Best Actress award at the Festival of Three Continents, France(1997), Gold Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival (1998), Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival (1997) and Best Director award at the British Asian Film Festival (1998).
The movie was also an official entry at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival and International Film Festival of India in 1998.
Khosa's previous experience with the celluloid world was limited to making documentaries and short films, of which Flower Girl was critically acclaimed internationally.
The director, who shuttles between Mumbai and London, runs a production outfit in Mumbai called Elephant Eye, which is currently producing Kagaz Ki Kashti and a supernatural thriller, Mother Tongue. Khosa is directing both.