Utpal Borpujari

March 8, 2009

Manjha an exclusive feature on Slumdog Millionaire Blu-ray disc

In a first of its sort, an award-winning Indian short film portraying the harsh life of street kids is being added as an exclusive special feature in the Blu-ray discs of Danny Boyle’s Oscar-sweeping movie Slumdog Millionaire.

What is significant about this black & white Marathi-Hindi short film Manjha, directed by young director Rahi Anil Barve, is that it provides a shocking counterpoint to the feel-good climax of Boyle’s film that swept award juries as well as viewers across the globe.

Both Blu-ray discs and DVDs of the Boyle’s film, which has globally collected $200 million, can be expected to be surefire bestsellers because of its successful Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe run.

However, the DVDs of the film would not have Manjha, which had won the best film award in the fiction category and the IDPA award for the best first film by a director at the 10th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) in January last year.

Boyle selected the film for inclusion in the Blu-ray discs of his film after he was particularly taken in by its fresh approach to the narrative format. He is believed to have watched the film as part of a number of Indian short films director Anurag Kashyap had showed him sometime back.

Manjha is an extraordinary film. With little resources it is visually stunning and emotionally captivating,” Boyle said on his decision.  “I’m delighted to include Manjha on the Blu-ray DVD release of Slumdog Millionaire throughout the world.”


 “With little resources it is visually stunning and emotionally captivating. Surprising and gripping, it’s everything a short film should be, and I look forward with great anticipation to the Director’s next project,” he said in his comments about the film to Barve.


While 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the Blu-ray disc and the DVD in the Western markets on March 31, in India Shemaroo  Entertainment will release the English and Hindi dubbed versions of the film on home video.


The selection has come as a real surprise for Barve, who is preparing for his feature film Tumbad. “After MIFF, this film was not sent to any other festival, though it won an Apsara Award. I guess Anurag, who knows Boyle well, had shown him mine as well as many other Indian short films,” he said.


A short film that has remained largely unseen will now reach all corners of the globe riding on the Slumdog wave –  should we say, “Jai Ho” to Manjha?




(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 08-03-2009)



1 Comment »

  1. really glad to read dis…MNJHA is really an excellent peace of shortfilm….hats off to rahi….

    Comment by swapnil — December 27, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

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