~Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) is the third feature film by Gurvinder Singh after his previous two critically acclaimed Anhe Ghore da Daan (Venice Orizzonti-2011) and Chauthi Koot (Un Certain Regard-Cannes 2015)~
~Khanaur is a personal film for the filmmaker unlike his earlier two films, which were based on words of Punjabi literature
~The film is inspired by the director’s stay in the mountains of Bir in Himachal Pradesh where he ran a café and features non-actors including the lead boy, Kishan who works in the café~
The trailer is out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzIGSZkOn8I&feature=youtu.be
Mumbai, 1st October 2019: National award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh’s third feature Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) will have its World Premiere at 24th Busan International Film Festival held from 3-12 October 2019 and is nominated for Kim Jiseok Award.
The film will have its India Premiere at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star held from 17-24 October in the prestigious section, India Gold featuring best talent from India.
Click here to watch the trailer of Khanaur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzIGSZkOn8I&feature=youtu.be
Khanaur is the third feature film by Gurvinder Singh after the critically acclaimed Anhe Ghore da Daan (Venice Orizzonti-2011, National Award) and Chauthi Koot (Un Certain Regard-Cannes 2015, Golden Gateway of India, MAMI, National Award).
Made in Pahari, Hindi and English language, Khanaur looks at the aspirations, fears, and insecurities of living in the present times through its protagonist, Kishan who works in a café and witnessing fast changing life around him and has to make a choice: whether to live a predictable life around his remote Himalayan village or migrate to the city.
Khanaur is a personal film for the filmmaker unlike his earlier two films, which were based on words of Punjabi literature and is inspired by his stay in the mountains of Bir in Himachal Pradesh where he ran a café and features the boy who worked in the café as a protagonist.
The filmmaker has worked with a mix of actors and non-actors in both his previous films, but with Khanaur he has gone ahead and cast all non-actors.
The film features Kishan Katwal who works in the café run by the filmmaker in Bir as protagonist alongwith his family members Pawan Katwa, Rani Devi, Bhankher Devi, Gopi Katwal and Monisha Mukundan as Café owner.
The film is produced by Bobby Bedi and co-produced by Nisheeth Kumar and Kartikeya Singh
Talking about the film, Gurvinder Singh says, “Khanaur is the vernacular word for a Himalayan variety of Bitter Chestnut, which the villagers believe is cursed, but made edible by washing regularly for seven straight days. It stands as a metaphor for the beauty of the region and its people and their immediate contact with the environment, yet the immense hardships of such a life. Khanaur, the film, is born from this personal contact with the people and the tendencies of migration and reverse-migration. The film looks at the aspirations, fears, and insecurities of living in the present times, through the eyes of a young boy Kishan, as he yearns for the bitterness to eventually fade away from the Khanaur. As a film, it is both ethnograph- ic and staged, an attempt to blend real life, people and events with a filmmakers’ desire for an arranged narrative.”
He adds, “Having moved to the mountains four years ago, I was witness to a flux of cultures and movements: the largely secluded remote mountainous villages until a few years ago, coming in contact with rapidly expanding tourism and influx of a few outsiders looking for solace from the mammoth and deteriorating urban city centres and wanting to live an alternate and ecologically sustaining life. At the same time, new exposure leading the local village boys to go explore life in the plains and its cities, in the hope for better eco- nomic benefits.”
About the director:
Gurvinder Singh graduated from the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, in 2001. He has directed two features in Punjabi, ‘Alms For The Blind Horse’ and ‘Chauthi Koot’ (Fourth Direction), which have premiered at Venice Film Festival (Orrizonti, 2011) and Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard, 2015), respectively. His films have travelled widely to various film festivals, including Rotterdam, Busan, Munich, London, Rio De Janeiro, etc. He has won the Special Jury Award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Grand Prix at the Belgrade Auteur Film Festival; the Silver Screen Award for Best Asian film at Singapore; The Golden Peacock for Best Film at the International Film Festival of India, Goa; and the Golden Gateway at Mumbai Film Festival. In 2016 he directed a short film ‘Infiltrator’ as part of an international omnibus of ten short films, titled ‘In The Same Garden’. His latest short film ‘Sea of Lost Time’ had its premiere at the Rotterdam film festival (2019). ‘Khanaur’ (Bitter Chestnut) is his third feature and is slated for premiere at the Busan
International Film Festival and nominated for the Kim Jiseok Award. He is currently working on his fourth feature, titled ‘Adh Chanani Raat’ (Crescent Night) in Punjabi.
About the Producer:
Sundeep Singh (Bobby) Bedi is an award-winning film and audio-visual content producer from India. Amongst the critically-acclaimed films he has produced are the Academy Awards® entry Bandit Queen (1994), Deepa Mehta’s Fire, The hit film Saathiya, (2002), Macbeth adaptation Maqbool (2003) and the historical epic Mangal Pandey, The Rising (2005). He has received the National Award for Best Film twice from the President of India and his films have featured at all major film festivals worldwide including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin and Venice. He was awarded the
lifetime achievement award by SEMENCI, Valladolid, Spain Film Festival in 2016. After Khannaur, Bobby is producing a bouquet of three feature films for international distribution. The first of these, Adh Chanani Raat (Night of the Crescent Moon) is also directed by Gurvinder.
About the Co-producers:
Kartikeya Singh is an independent producer with a deep interest in producing works from the emerging and alternative voices of Indian cinema. He has produced for notable directors like Gurvinder Singh, Amit Dutta and Ivan Ayr. His films inlude ‘Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan’, ‘Chauthi Koot’ and ‘Soni’. These have been showcased at prestigious film festivals around the world, including Un certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival and Orrizonti section at the Venice International film festival, among the many other leading film festivals where the films have won numerous international awards. He is a Recipient of the National Award for ‘Chauthi Koot’ for Best Punjabi Film. ‘Khanaur’ (Bitter Chestnut) is his third feature collaboration with Gurvinder Singh.
Nisheeth Kumar is one of the founder members of Indie Film Collective (IFC) that seeks to produce and promote independent cinema with global footprints. ‘Khanaur’ is their first co-production as part of this endeavour. Before venturing into production of cinema, Kumar had more than thirty years of work experience as a development professional and consultant with equity and justice as his major concerns.