TV star Renuka Shahane feels honoured that her Marathi directorial debut Rita was the first film to be screened at the 11th Mumbai Film Festival's (MMF) India Frames section Friday.
"I am happy and also honoured to see Rita opening the India Frames at the festival," Renuka, who teamed with Shah Rukh Khan in popular TV series Circus, told IANS.
Based on the novel Rita Welinkar written by Renuka's mother Shanta Gokhle, Rita stars Jackie Shroff and Pallavi Joshi in the lead roles.
It is the story of a woman who is forced to give up on her dream at a tender age for the sake of her family. Certain situations lead her to an emotional breakdown and finally she bonds with a childhood friend who has herself has been buried in an unrewarding marriage.
"I have removed the surname from the title of my film because it is about a girl's identity. This film talks about Rita who starts to finding herself after she becomes a psychiatric patient," said Renuka.
Renuka, who has been in the industry for 20 years and featured in serials like Sailaab and Imtihaan, says she was always interested in direction. She had assisted Vijay Mehta in the TV series Lifeline.
Asked why she chose to do the film in Marathi, she said: "As it is my first movie, I wanted to do it from a comfort zone and that is why I stuck to my mother tongue."
Rita is already in the cinemas and has garnered rave reviews both from the audience and critic.
"In Pune, the film has already completed 50 days. It had got good reviews from the audiences as well as the critics," said Renuka, who bid adieu to acting after marrying actor Ashutosh Rana in 2001. She keeps busy with her two kids.
"I can't work in mega serials as there is little scope of creativity and now it has become more of a factory, channels are running after TRPs," said Renuka, who was also seen as Salman Khan's sister-in-law in the hit film Hum Aapke Hain Koun?.