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In 1975, a young girl named Manjhri is married off to a small village in the middle of nowhere in the Rann of Kutch. There is no rain in the village since many years. The villagers believe it is a curse of the goddess because of a widow rup who was an embroider and tried to earn money and escaped with another villager. As an apology the men present a Gujarati folkdance garba to impress the goddess, but the women are not allowed to play garba. Every morning the women of the village go to a distant lake to fetch water, this is the only time when they are not suppressed but free. One day they come across an unconscious drummer and help him. In return, he plays his dhol and the women play garba for the first time. Since then, everyday they fetch water and play garba. After some time the women convince him to ask the mukhya of their village for shelter and play dhol for navrati. Everyday he plays garba for the women at the day and for the men at night. One day the women are caught playing garba and are beaten as a punishment. On the same night the women play garba in the village and it rains.
Abhishek Shah is the Director, Writer and Producer of 'Hellaro', the first ever Gujarati Film which has won the National Award for 'Best Feature Film' (Swarna Kamal) in the history of Gujarati Cinema. Hellaro was the Opening film at ‘50th International Film Festival of India 2019’ in which Abhishek Shah won the ‘Special Mention’ in the category of Best Debut Director in the International competition section. Abhishek Shah also got ‘Mahatma Gandhi Afro Asian Film Award - Best Debut’ and Best Director at the Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival, Boston 2020. Hellaro has travelled many festivals across the world including ‘The Marché du Film’ of the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ and also won the prestigious ‘Grand Prix 2019 Award of FIPRESCI-INDIA’.
Born in Ahmedabad to a Banker Father, Jayanti and a Housewife Mother, Kanta on 29th November, 1982. With a Graduate degree in Science and a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism, he pursued Theatre at very early age and emerged as a prominent name in Theatre Circuit with his social concerned plays. He has been working with theatre since the past 20 years as a Writer, Director and Actor, plays Written and Directed by him have received numerous awards. Abhishek Shah has done 15 Gujarati Films as Casting Director including National Award winning Wrong Side Raju, Chhello Divas, Bey Yaar, Thai Jashe and Karsandas Pay & Use.
Married in 2006 with Tejal Panchasara, Theatre and Film Actress who won Special Jury Award in 66th National Film Awards for 'Hellaro'.
Prateek Gupta is a Director, Editor, Screenwriter and Producer. Prateek Co-Directed the documentary film ‘Goonga Pehelwan’ for which he won the 62nd National Film Award for the year 2014 for the Best Debut Film of a Director (Non-Feature). The film was also selected as the Opening Film of the Indian Panorama at the International Film Festival of India, Goa. And has also been to more than 13 prestigious national and international film festivals.
Prateek is the Producer, Editor, Screenwriter and Associate Director of the film 'Hellaro', the first ever Gujarati Film to have won the National Award for 'Best Feature Film' (Swarna Kamal). Hellaro was also selected as the 'Opening Film' of Indian Panorama of 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa 2019. The film has also been to more than 15 international film festivals winning many awards and has received the love of audiences across the globe.
As an editor Prateek has also edited the popular Gujarati film ‘Love ni Bhavai’.
Prateek is a Chartered Accountant by qualification. Apart from Harfanmaula Films which was the production house for Hellaro, Prateek is also the co-founder and Partner at Videowala Productions and Travrse Media which is involved in commercials and corporate work.
Aayush Patel, Chartered Accountant by academics, has been associated with the film industry for the past eleven years. He directed his first documentary in 2010 and thereafter co-founded Videowala, a production house, in 2012. After moving on from Videowala, Aayush was involved as a core team member in the production of the National Award-winning documentary film, ‘Goonga Pehelwan’. In 2019, he was associated as a Producer, Executive Producer & Creative Producer for the National Award-winning feature-film ‘Hellaro’, a Gujarati period-drama film. Alongwith this, he has been a Producer for various Award-winning short-films like ‘Prakash’ and ‘Naap.’
He is also the Co-founder Partner of Videowala Productions wherein he produces Ad films, Digital films and other such films throughout the year for various Corporate clients
Mit Jani is a Director and Producer. He is winner of 62nd National Film Award for the year 2014 under Best Debut Film of a Director (Non-Feature)Category for the 'Goonga Pehelwan' film. The film was also selected as the Opening Film of the Indian Panorama at the International Film Festival of India, Goa. And has also been to more than 13 prestigious national and international film festivals.
Mit Jani is also Producer of the film 'Hellaro', the first ever 'Gujarati Film' which has won the National Award for 'Best Feature Film' (Swarna Kamal) in the history of Cinema. Also the first ever 'Gujarati Film' which has been selected as 'Opening Film' of Indian Panorama of 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa 2019. He has also played a cameo in the film. He is also Creative and executive producer of the film.
Mit is a bachelor of commerce and Chartered Accountant and along with studies he started learning film making at an early age. He is also a partner at Videowala and Travrse studios, where they make ads, documentary films and corporate films and short films.
So, as few of you might know, this is Kaushambi, I am an actress, actually dancer turned an actor! I am a trained Bharatnatyam dancer but theatre and plays attracted me so decided to go for it. Did my Master's in it. Started my career with experimental theatre in Ahmedabad 10 years ago and never looked back.
I have been fortunate to be a part of some great Gujarati films such as Oxygen, Dhunki, Hellaro, Montu ni Bittu, Nayikadevi, Sardar, Bharat Maro Desh chhe and Dear Father.
I have National and State awards for my work as well. Looking forward to keep on doing the same quality work I try to do.
Chirantana Bhatt is an editor with gujaratimidday.com and is a columnist based in Mumbai. She was the youngest journalist selected for International Visitors Leadership Programme of the US state government in 2010.
Other than being a journalist she is translating author, screenwriter and a playwright. She is a Masters in History and a trained Kathak Dancer. With more than 15 years of experience in media she has worked with Divya Bhaskar and BBC and has contributed for publications like Forbes Life and News 18. Apart from some pathbreaking stories to her credit as a journalist her love for languages led her to being a translating author for some noteworthy authors like Esther David, Rujuta Diwekar, Kareena Kapoor to name a few. Her Hindi translation of the play ‘Yugpurush’ went on to be staged across the world for more than 1000 shows. Having written for television and theatre along with being an RJ with All India Radio she has collaborated with directors like Manoj Shah, Pritesh Sodha and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal in their theatrical productions.