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dir. Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi
India, Sweden 2018, 104’
Polish premiere
Awards and festivals
International Film Festival Venice 2019
India, Sweden 2018
Duration: 104’
director: Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi
screenplay: Mitesh Shah, Adesh Prasad, Rahi Anil Barve, Anand Gandhi
cinematography: Pankaj Kumar
editing: Sanyukta Kaza
music: Jesper Kyd, Ajay-Atul
cast: Sohum Shah, Ronjini Chakraborty, Anita Date, Jyoti Malshe, Deepak Damle
producer: Aanand L. Rai, Amita Shah, Sohum Shah, Mukesh Shah
executive producer: Anand Gandhi
production: Eros International, Sohum Shah Films, Colour Yellow Productions, Film i Väst
sales: Eros International
language: Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu
colouration: colour

Film description

In 1918, in the province of Maharashtra, Vinayak lived with his brother in the sinister Tumbbad estate. Both were illegitimate children of the maid and master of the house. One day Vinayak hears the mysterious name Hastar for the first time and learns about the legend of an extraordinary treasure hidden somewhere in Tumbbad's deep basements. The clever boy helps out his doomed grandmother and thus discovers a way to gain wealth. After the unfortunate death of his brother, Vinayak leaves the run-down estate and returns whenever he needs more gold. Each time he manages to avoid an ominous curse, but cleverness may one day turn against him...

Back in 1997, inspired by one of Narayan Dharap's disturbing short stories, director Rahi Anil Barve already as an 18-year-old wrote the first draft of the "Tumbbad" script. The filmmaker returned to the project two decades later, together with Adesh Prasad and Ananda Gandhi, developing the script and precisely planning the production. Visually breathtaking, shot in authentic locations, "Tumbbad" became the first Indian film opening Venice Critic's Week. The filmmakers brilliantly combined the characteristic elements of Indian cinema with the horror genre conventions. The soundtrack and the main melody of the film becomes an integral part of the narrative, enhancing an atmosphere of anxiety, emphasizing the feverish greed of the characters and dangerous game with fate. The perfectionism is visible from the first frames of "Tumbbad", whose nested narrative structure and cinematic space seem to truly absorb the viewer, leading closer and closer to an ancient mystery.

Maja Korbecka

Rahi Anil Barve

Born in 1979 in Mumbai, Rahi Anil Barve is a director, writer and animator, son of a Marathi novelist Anil Barve. He got interested in film and visual culture due to dyslexia, which became an obstacle in the course of his education. He started learning 2D, then 3D animation, working in the film industry in his early 20s. In 2005 he quit his job as an animator and focus on developing his short film, "Manjha", which got noticed by Danny Boyle and added as a special feature for the Blu-ray release of the Academy Award-winning Slumdog Millionaire. It took Barve 9 years to find a committed producer and sufficient funds to complete his full-length “Tumbbad”, which opened Venice Critic’s Week in 2019. Currently Rahi Anil Barve is working on two projects, “Maisaba” and “Rakht Brahmand”, the latter based on Marathi writer G.A. Kulkarni’s suspense-thriller short story.


2007 Manjha (k.m.)

2018 Tumbbad

Anand Gandhi

Born in 1980 in Mumbai, Anand Gandhi is an Indian filmmaker, playwright, entrepreneur, producer and innovator. In 1996, he pursued a program in graphic design, but resigned two years later. Instead he founded a studio called Ciceros Graphics, taught Adobe Photoshop and other graphic softwares, that were not yet used by traditionally-educated graphic designers. At 16, Anand assisted activist and polemist Abhay Mehta with the maintenance of a whistleblowing website.
Anand Gandhi entered film industry in 2000 when he wrote screenplay for TV show "Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii". The same year, Anand's play "Sugandhi" was awarded the prestigious National Prize. He made his film directorial debut with "Right Here, Right Now" (2003), a critically acclaimed 30-minute short film that was shot in two continuous takes. The film premiered in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival. Anand’s first feature-length film "Ship of Theseus" premiered in 2012, becoming most successful arthouse film at the Indian box office. In the late 2015, Anand founded Memesys Culture Lab with Zain Memon, Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla, Neil Pagedar and Pooja Shetty, focusing on virtual reality (VR) journalism. The lab launched six VR documentaries on ElseVR, a VR journalism platform. Anand also produced a documentary film "An Insignificant Man", which had its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.


2003 Right Here, Right Now (k.m.)

2006 Continuum (k.m.)

2013 Ship of Theseus

2017 An Insignificant Man

2018 Tumbbad

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