Boston International Film Festival
                              Session 4
Thursday June 7, 2007    6:30PM TO 9:00PM
AMC/LOEWS Boston Common: 175 Tremont St. Boston

Vanaja    (1hour : 51min)

Set in rural South India, a place where social barriers are built
stronger than fort walls, VANAJA explores the chasm that
divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age.
Vanaja (Mamatha Bhukya) is the 14 year-old daughter of a
poor, low caste fisherman, struggling with dwindling catches
and mounting debt. When a sooth-sayer predicts that she will
be a great dancer one day, she goes to work in the house of
the local landlady, Rama Devi (Urmila Dammannagari), in
hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance while earning a keep. She is
hired as a farmhand, and her vivacious ways and spunk soon
catch the landlady’s eye, eventually securing her the landlady’s
mentorship – first in music, and then in dance. Vanaja excels at
the art, and seems to be on a steadily ascending path when
Shekhar (Karan Singh), Rama Devi’s 23 year old son –
handsome, muscular and rather insecure, returns from the US
to run for local political elections. Sexual chemistry is ignited
between Shekhar and Vanaja (still a minor at 15), as flirtation
and innuendo bloom. But, the situation suddenly turns ugly
when Vanaja’s superior intellect pits her against Shekhar in a
public incident, which ultimately humiliates him in front of his
mother. Matters escalate, spiraling downwards and she is
pitched into a tale of class, family and animus from which there
is only one escape.

Writer & Director:  Rajnesh Domalpalli
Producer: Latha R. Domalapalli
Executive Producer:  Andrew Lund
16mm Super
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