Gangubai Kathiawadi to be featured at 72nd Berlin International Film Festival

Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Photo: Twitter @RealBhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much-anticipated film Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn has been selected to be screened at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival February 2022 and will have its world premiere at the festival.

Gangubai Kathiawadi has been chosen to be screened as part of Berlinale Special, a segment of the film festival dedicated to showcase exemplary cinema. This year’s selections are films that have been shot during the pandemic.

As Sanjay Leela Bhansali celebrates 25 years as director in the world of cinema, his 10th film indeed has been special for him. Bhansali says, “The story of Gangubai Kathiawadi has been very close to my heart and my team and I have given it all to make this dream possible. We take pride and honor in showcasing our film at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.”

Producer Jayantilal Gada of Pen Studios also shared his thoughts: “I believe in Mr. Bhansali and his craft. It gives me great joy that our film will be presented at the Berlin International Film Festival and I am proud to associate with Mr. Bhansali. Alia has given a great performance and I am thankful to Ajay Devgn too for being a part of this project. It’s a story that will engage and appeal to global audiences.”

Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian of Berlin International Film Festival said, “We are happy to premiere Gangubai Kathiawadi and continue the tradition of the Berlin Film Festival being a special setting for Indian movies. This time it is with a film that joins the usual craft in shaping camera movement and the choreography of bodies with a subject that is socially relevant, not just in India. From the very beginning, we were taken by the story of Gangubai, an exceptional woman dragged into exceptional circumstances.”

Bhatt will next be seen in the pan-Indian magnum opus RRR directed by S.S. Rajamouli.  The film is set to release January 7, 2022. Towards the end of September, when the Maharashtra government had announced the reopening of theaters, the makers of Gangubai Kathiawadi revealed that their film would be releasing on January 6. However, by mid-November, the makers averted a clash by postponing the release of their film.

oster of Gangubai Kathiawadi. Photo: Twitter @bhansali_produc

At the trailer launch event of RRR last week, Bhatt had also spoken about her thoughts when both her films were about to (strangely) clash at the box office—strangely because Pen Studios is presenting both!

“S.S. Rajamouli is who he is because of his mind. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is who he is because of his mind and his understanding of cinema. It’s nothing for me to worry about,” Bhatt had said. “Even at that moment, I was like ‘Kya hoga’ (What will happen?). It will be Alia versus Alia, Ajay versus Ajay because he is there in both films as well. Eventually, it is not happening that way. And (producer) Jayantilal (Gada) is also a part of both,” she had stated.

Gada had quipped, “Can we also say that she has done a great job and asked to shift the date of the film?” And Bhatt had replied, “I have not done anything. Dates are handled by producers and directors. I just follow. I am just an actor!”

Incidentally, Devgn and Bhatt share space for the first time in these films. Devgn has worked with Alia Bhatt’s elder sister Pooja Bhatt in Zakham (1994), wherein she had played his mother, and with their father Mahesh Bhatt, who had directed him in that film as well as in Naajayaz.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali as Director: Filmography

  1. Khamoshi—The Musical / 1996
  2. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam / 1999
  3. Devdas / 2002
  4. Black / 2005
  5. Saawariya / 2007
  6. Guzaarish / 2010
  7. Goliyon Ki RasLila—RamLila / 2013
  8. Bajirao Mastani / 2015
  9. Padmaavat / 2018


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