India’s ‘Lalanna’s Song,’ ‘Dhuin’ Acquired for North America at Cannes « CmaTrends

Deaf Crocodile Films and Gratitude Films have acquired Indian films “Lalanna’s Song” and “Dhuin” for North American distribution. The deals were completed during the Cannes Market.

“Dhuin” is one of six Indian titles selected by India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for a market screening. Previous Deaf Crocodile and Gratitude acquisition “Boomba Ride,” by Biswajeet Bora, is also screening at the market, where India is this year the country of honor.

Directed by Megha Ramaswamy (“Bunny”), and produced by Newton Cinema, Malayalam and Hindi-language film “Lalanna’s Song” follows two young women (top Malayalam cinema stars Rima Kallingal and Parvathy Thiruvothu) on what seems to be a routine day dealing with prejudice and sexism. Their world starts to break down into David Lynch-like shards, triggered by their encounter with a possibly supernatural young girl, Lalanna (emerging actor Nakshatra Indrajith), whose song may bring death with it.

Ramaswamy said: “As a filmmaker, my core connection to the story is that of the consequences that women continually suffer — a suffering that follows us outside our domestic spaces and creeps into our physical presences as well. Lalanna’s song, which she is coerced into singing, is an angry dirge, full of seething rage at the imbalance of power in society.”

Directed by Achal Mishra (“The Village House”), Maithili and Hindi-language film “Dhuin” is a portrait of a 25-year old street theater actor who is desperate to leave his rural hometown of Darbhanga for Mumbai, but finds himself trapped by family obligations, lack of experience and connections. The film references the oeuvre of Abbas Kiarostami several times. It stars Abhinav Jha, Bijay Kumar Sah, Prashant Rana and Ankush Prasad.

Mieshra said: “Through its characters and spaces, the film also navigates the theater scene of a small town and all its idiosyncrasies.”

Deaf Crocodile co-founder and head of acquisitions and distribution Dennis Bartok said: “Both of these films play like beautifully written and observed short novels.”

Deaf Crocodile and Gratitude most recently released Mishra’s debut feature “The Village House.”

Gratitude Films founder Anu Rangachar said: “I’m proud to be continuing our collaboration with Achal Mishra, one of the brightest filmmakers to have emerged in India’s independent cinema scene. With ‘Lalanna’s Song,’ we hope audiences will discover the daring voice of Megha Ramaswamy, a truly talented filmmaker.”

The two companies also recently released Indian director Pushpendra Singh’s mystical feminist drama “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs.”

Both “Lalanna’s Song” and “Dhuin” are slated for theatrical release in the fall on the arthouse circuit, followed by digital release through partner Grasshopper Films for TVOD/SVOD.

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