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Planning release of Bittersweet and Doctor Rakhmabai, says Ananth Mahadevan

The director-actor also has Phule lined up for release next year.

Keyur Seta

During a recent conversation with Cinestaan about his upcoming short film The Knocker, director-actor Ananth Mahadevan also spoke about his slate of upcoming feature films.

He is currently planning the release of his Marathi film Bittersweet, which stars well-known television actress Akshaya Gurav.

“Bittersweet was premiered at the Busan International Film Festival," Ananth said. "It was also in competition at the Kolkata International Film Festival. Now we are planning a release. It will be a limited pan-India release. We are also planning to enter it for the National awards for 2020.”

The filmmaker believes that Bittersweet will be a significant film because of its subject. “It’s about women sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra who are forced to undergo hysterectomies. The film has no reference point anywhere in the world because no one has attempted a film like this. It’s India’s ‘blood sugar’, as I call it,” he said, in a reference to blood diamonds.

Ananth said the film exposes a racket going on in the biggest industry in Maharashtra through the story of a young girl.

The filmmaker has another Marathi film, Doctor Rakhmabai, in the pipeline. Starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, the project is based on the life of India’s first female doctor, Rakhmabai Raut.

“We are negotiating the release of Doctor Rakhmabai in cinemas and OTT. That is happening simultaneously,” he said.

The filmmaker feels the present time is ideal for the release of this film. “The timing is right because today our medical people are our heroes. And she was India’s first practising lady doctor. When the pandemic started, people started seeing Contagion (2011). I feel people will watch Doctor Rakhmabai because they are the true heroes.”

Ananth Mahadevan also has Phule lined up for release next year, the shooting for which is scheduled to begin in mid-2021.