Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple to premiere on Netflix

The Disciple, executive produced by Alfonso Cuaron, won the best screenplay award at the 77th Venice Film Festival last year.

Director Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple, which traces the journey and conflicts of a classical vocalist, will soon release on Netflix.

The Disciple, produced by Vivek Gomber and executive produced by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron, is the story of Sharad Nerulkar, who devotes his life to becoming a classical vocalist, diligently following the traditions and discipline of the old masters, his guru and his father.

Chaitanya Tamhane delves into the mind of the artiste, who starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for. The film’s team describes The Disciple as “a journey of devotion, passion, and searching for the absolute in contemporary Mumbai.”

Also written by Tamhane, The Disciple stars Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat and Kiran Yadnyopavit in pivotal roles. Tamhane said that he is thrilled that The Disciple with a local setting but global sensibilities will be consumed by people across the world.

“The story of The Disciple came from my own search for excellence and direction. It’s about how many of us follow all the rules and yet, sometimes, find that something is missing. I was honoured to get the opportunity to work with a creative genius (and my mentor) like Alfonso Cuaron. And now, not only has Netflix acquired it to stream to a discerning global audience. I’m truly grateful and humbled that global industry stalwarts have found this film worthy. A great deal of research goes into making a film and my aim as a filmmaker has always been to tell my story authentically within a dramatic framework. One also needs to afford the audience intelligence and intuition to be able to invest in your story, no matter what the cultural context may be. I’m glad this approach worked out well for The Disciple,” Chaitanya Tamhane said in a statement.

Alfonso Cuaron said he was happy that “one of the most important new voices” of cinema will be heard by the audience across the world. “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices of contemporary cinema and I’m thrilled The Disciple will be able to be enjoyed by audiences all around the world,” he said.

The Disciple made a smashing international debut last year with its world premiere at the 77th Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and also earned the best screenplay honour. It was the first Indian film to have been selected in a major competition category at a European festival in 20 years after Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding in 2001.

It was also screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was named the winner of the Amplify Voices Award. Earlier this week, the movie was nominated at the Film Independent Spirit Awards under the Best International Feature category.

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