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Netflix Acquires Gitanjali Rao’s ‘Bombay Rose’

Award-winning, hand-painted animated feature, based on true events, is the Indian director’s riveting ode to people living unfulfilled lives as they struggle to survive in the big city.

Netflix has just announced they’ve acquired the multiple award-winning animated feature, Bombay Rose, director Gitanjali Rao’s intimate and compelling ode to people in India living unfulfilled lives as they struggle to survive. The film will be released on the streaming platform globally, except for China, this fall, and 2021 in France.

Bombay Rose tells the story of a young club dancer, escaping from child marriage, living in the streets of Bombay, who must choose between fending for her family and finding love with a boy orphaned by the militancy. Hand-painted frame by frame and woven delicately through music, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible love: love between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy; love between two women; and love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Based on true events, the film, in documentary fashion, explores the ruthlessness of a society where the love and life that reigns on the big screen can crush you in its mean streets.

“Having struggled six years to make the film happen, I cannot be anything but immensely grateful to Cinestaan and Les Films d'Ici for supporting and making Bombay Rose and to Netflix for believing in it enough to bring it to the right audience!” the director noted.

Rao, a  self-taught animator, first gained attention with her animated short, Printed Rainbow, which premiered at Cannes Critic’s week 2006 (Kodak Discovery Award, Petite Rail D’Or, Prix Du Jeune), ultimately going on to win 25 awards and a spot on the 2008 Oscar shortlist. Her four animated shorts, all independently produced, have been selected at more than 150 International film festivals, taking home more than 30 awards.

Bombay Rose was the first Indian Animation film ever chosen to open Venice Critics Week; it was also selected by TIFF and BFI, and won at the Chicago and Mumbai Film Festivals. The film won the ‘India Gold Silver Gateway Award’ and the Manish Acharya Award for ‘New Voices in Indian Cinema’ at the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.

Bombay Rose is written, edited and directed by Rao. The film is produced by Rohit Khatter and Anand Mahindra, and co-produced by Charlotte Uzu and Serge Lalou. Deborah Sathe and Tessa Inkelaar serve as executive producers.  The film is a Cinestaan Film Company/Les Films d’ici production, with animation provided by Paperboat Design Studios. Soumitra Ranade is the animation producer; Sangita Khatu, Sanjay Dengle and Prashant Shikare serve as animators. Swanand Kirkire provides the film’s lyrics, which are performed by Cyli Khare. The principle voice cast includes Cyli Khare, Amit Deondi, Gargi Shitole, and Makrand Deshpande.

Source: Netflix

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.