Dhobi Ghat from Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan Productions Presents
Written & Directed
Inside a taxi in the pouring rain of Mumbai, an amateur video camera is shooting the grey city through the misted windows. The cab driver strikes up a conversation with the shy girl behind the camera,Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra), and they find out that they are from neighboring towns back home in Uttar Pradesh. The brief encounter creates a small space of belonging. Shai (Monica Dogra), an affluent investment banker on a sabbatical in Mumbai meets Arun (Aamir Khan), a gifted painter at the opening of his new show. Arun and Shai spend a night together, which later Arun cannot explain and Shai cannot forget. The very next morning they part ways, almost sure they will never meet again. Munna (Prateik), the young and beautiful washerman (dhobi) who delivers clothes to Shai's house, aspires to be a film actor. When he learns of Shai's hobby of photography he agrees to show her the 'real' city in exchange for her shooting his portfolio. Shai discovers the city through his eyes and her lens, and an unlikely friendship develops as Munna can't stop himself from falling in love with her. Meanwhile Arun finds a new apartment where he can resume his silent, reclusive life. In the process of settling in, he stumbles upon a secret that at first he is ready to dismiss, but later finds more and more absorbing: a secret that will find its way into his heart.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is the story of four people from very different backgrounds, whose worlds intersect and leave them forever altered. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into the crevices of their lives, separating them even as it brings them closer...
Fragments of their experience - seen through a naïve video diary, black and white photographic images and painting - form a portrait of Mumbai and its people, bound together as they journey through longing, loneliness, loss and love.
Mumbai/Bombay, a concrete island lapped at by grey sea and lashed by torrential rain, is home to fourteen million of us, and more arrive on its shores every day to make their lives and fortunes. The energies of these diverse people and their hopes coalesce into something electric and unique. And so the city has a life of its own - throbbing, vital and inclusive; and this is what inspired the film.
I wrote this script a few years ago with two ideas as starting points for this story of four people adrift in this city.
One grew out of the personal experience I’ve had as a tenant in Mumbai, having had to shift to a new apartment almost every year (due to short term tenancy laws). Every new apartment I moved to always felt a little warm from the last occupant, leading to the idea that I was in some strange way connected to the people that had lived in the space before me and would thereafter. What if they had left behind something that revealed to me their life and secrets?
The second idea was to examine whether it’s really possible in a country riddled with class and caste prejudice for an upper class girl to have a relationship with a boy from a disadvantaged background. While popular Hindi cinema has championed the idea that ‘love conquers all’ for the past 60 odd years, does it in real life?
The film was shot on multiple formats (Super16mm and Mini DV) on real locations in Mumbai, and I was fortunate to work with a talented cast and crew for many of whom this will be a debut. To have Aamir as a producer, actor and collaborator on the film was my great, good fortune, and I owe this film to his unflagging belief and support.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is my homage to Mumbai and its people - people on trains, in boats, stuck in traffic, perched on construction sites, sitting by the sea, thinking of tomorrow.
When my wife Kiran told me that she was working on a script I was most apprehensive. One of these days the script would be complete and I would have to read it. If the script did not work for me then things would get most uncomfortable between us. Every time she mentioned she was working on it I prayed that she would not complete it, and in time would abandon it. Doesn’t sound like a very supportive husband I’m afraid, but I am known to have a strong survival instinct.
Well, finally the day did dawn when she confronted me with a spiral-bound file.
I figured I needed numbers on my side, someone to back me when I gave it a thumbs-down. With that in mind I suggested we travel to Coonoor where my cousin, and filmmaker, Mansoor lives. "Mansoor and I will hear the script narration together", I said. I have often used Mansoor as a shield, as he has me.
So, Mansoor, Tina (his wife) and I sat down one afternoon to hear the first narration of Dhobi Ghat. From the first scene itself the script just sucked me in. I was falling in love with the characters, loved the dialogue and voice of each person, was struck by the fine, silken threads that made the narrative and was moved to tears by the end.
All three of us loved it, and I fell in love with K, once again.
Kiran has been an absolute delight to work with. As a producer and as an actor,
I feel most safe in her hands. She has clarity, sensitivity and an ability to bring the best out in her team, which makes her a leader I am happy to follow.
I recognize superior talent when I see it and it always makes me happy and it inspires me. When I see that talent in my life partner it makes me feel very
proud and secure.
Kiran’s choice of cast and crew has been most invigorating for someone like me who has been working in films for over two decades. As a producer it is very rare to work with a team, ...ALL of whom are so talented, passionate, committed and with the right attitude towards cinema.
Thank you guys.
Arun - AAMIR KHAN
In a career spanning 20 years Aamir Khan has performed in over 40 films. As one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema, his films, from his first film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak to his most recent film 3 Idiots, have garnered both critical acclaim and tremendous box office success. Lagaan, a film that Khan both produced and starred in, was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 2001 Academy Awards. Rang De Basanti, another Khan starrer, was nominated for the 2006 BAFTA Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Khan’s directorial debut, Taare Zameen Par (2007), which he also starred in and produced, was India’s official entry for the Academy Awards 2008 in the Best Foreign Language Film category. 3 Idiots (2009), a Khan starrer, has the distinction of being the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema. It grossed INR 420 crore ($100M approx) worldwide outdoing his earlier film Ghajini (200, which was the previous record holder at INR 240CR ($50M approx). A multi-talented and versatile artist, Khan is ranked No.1 at the top of Filmfare’s Most Powerful People in Bollywood currently and has been so for two years running. He is currently ranked No. 4 in India Today’s most powerful people in India. In 2002 he was awarded the Padma Shree by the President of India, and in 2010 the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards.
Munna - PRATEIK
The son of Bollywood stars the late Smita Patil and Raj Babbar, Prateik was raised by his maternal grandparents after the sudden demise of his mother at when he was 18 days old. A versatile artist Prateik trained as a professional cricketer after his schooling. He soon gravitated towards film and began his career working in television commercials. Before long Prateik was cast in a cameo in Aamir Khan Productions’ Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.The role garnered him huge popularity among Indian audiences especially the youth. Prateik’s special training includes Yoga, Kalaripayattu (the South Indian mother of martial art), Hindi language and South American Dance. Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) will be Prateik’s debut in a leading role. Current projects include the lead role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions’ My Friend Pinto by Raaghav Dar, Rohan Sippy’s Dum Maro Dum and UTV Motion Pictures Milan Talkies by Tigmanshu Dhulia.
Shai - MONICA DOGRA
Labeled an Ambassador of “The New India”, Monica Sharma Dogra is a Maryland raised musician, daughter of Kashmiri immigrants, who grew up listening to Hindu devotional songs, ghazals, and the Bollywood hits of Lata Mangeshkar. After winning a competition at the age of 16, she debuted at Carnegie Hall and then went on to graduate from NYU’s prestigious music performance program which led her to appear on the New York Theatre Circuit doing both plays and musicals. She then found herself in India, while recording a solo-project with Andre Bettes in New York City, the producer of Madonna’s Immaculate Collection. It was there she met her music partner Randolph Correia, and formed the band Shaa’ir + func (S+F for short). S+F has been named one of India’s favorite bands by VH1 and has played at some of the biggest festivals in the world, such as The Big Chill (UK), MIDEM (France), Glastonbury (UK), OYA (Norway), C/O POP (Germany), Indian Music Fest (Holland). S+F has written and released three albums in four short years of being formed.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is her first film as an actor.
Yasmin - KRITI MALHOTRA
Kriti Malhotra graduated from Nowrosjee Wadia College, Pune, in 2003, with a major in Geography alongside a diploma in Fashion Apparel Design in 2000-01. She made her first television appearance on MTV Roadies (Season One), India's first adventure reality show in 2003, from where she went on to produce and direct MTV’s StyleCheck, a fashion based show. In 2007 Kriti expanded her portfolio and began working as the assistant costume designer and wardrobe supervisor for several Hindi feature films including Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar Raj (2007), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi 6 (200, Vipul Shah's Action Replay (2009) and Anees Bazmee's No Problem (2009). She continues to style TV commercials and promos on a regular basis.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is her first film as an actor.
Aamir Khan, superstar and one of India’s foremost actors, launched Aamir Khan Productions with the intention of producing Lagaan, a period piece set in British India.
Lagaan, Khan’s first production, went on to win several awards including an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001. Taare Zameen Par, a Khan starrer and directorial debut, amassed critical acclaim along with tremendous success at the box office. It was India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in 2008. Khan’s other productions include the break out and immensely popular Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Peepli Live - the first Indian film to be shown in World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2010. Peepli Live played to rave reviews at festivals around the world, has been a remarkable box-office success and is the winner of the Best First Feature Film Award at the Durban International Film Festival 2010. Khan’s most recent production is Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat which had its World Premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Khan is committed to encouraging talented new filmmakers while offering a platform for established filmmakers to innovate and create cinema that is original and challenges
the status quo.
In 2002 he was awarded the Padma Shree by the President of India, and in 2010 the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards.
Born in Bangalore, raised in Calcutta, Kiran Rao moved to Mumbai, India and worked as an Assistant Director on films such as the Academy Award nominated Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion. She served as associate producer on the critically acclaimed and box office success Taare Zameen Par, India’s official entry to the Academy Awards, and the immensely popular Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na Rao went on to produce Peepli Live, the first Indian film to be selected in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2010 with rave reviews. Rao holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Sophia College, Bombay University and a Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), written and directed by Kiran Rao, and starring Aamir Khan, India’s leading film star, is her first feature film.
In 2007, Gustavo Santaolalla became only the third composer in history to be honored with two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Original Score. He also received consecutive Golden Globe Nominations for Babel and Brokeback Mountain, and a remarkable third consecutive BAFTA nomination, winning two of the three years for Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries. The windfall of acclaim for Santaolalla included the two Oscars and a Golden Globe, a Latin Grammy as Producer of the Year, BAFTA’s for Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries and a World Soundtrack Award for 21 Grams. He was nominated for two additional Golden Globes, two Critics Choice Awards and won Best Score from the Chicago Film Critics, Las Vegas Film Critics and Online Film Critics Associations for Brokeback Mountain. In 2004, Santaolalla was awarded a Grammy for his work as producer of Café Tacuba’s Cuatro Caminos. He also won a Latin Grammy for his work with Café Tacuba and was nominated for Producer of the Year for his work with Juanes (The Multi-platinum artist discovered by Santaolalla who is one of the world’s best-selling artists), Molotov and Bersuit Vergarabat as well as his own critically-acclaimed band Bajofondo. Since being handpicked by director Michael Mann to be featured on The Insider soundtrack, Santaolalla has become a much sought-after film composer whose scores also include the Oscar-nominated Amores Perros and North Country starring Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand. His latest work is for the upcoming Biutiful starring Javier Bardem. An August, 2005 Time magazine cover story named Santaolalla “One of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America” and a 2007 Entertainment Weekly article credited him as one of the “50 Smartest People in Hollywood.”
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
TUSHAR KANTI RAY
Tushar Kanti Ray was born and raised in Kolkata, India in 1980. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce with a major in Accountancy from Calcutta University, Tushar proceeded to do his post graduation in Cinematography at the Film and Television Institute of India, India’s foremost film academy. Early on he developed a love for theatre and worked closely with a theatre group called Ekhoni handling backstage and working in light design for Ekhoni’s productions. He won Best Cinematography at San Francisco Shorts for the short film Shor.
Dhobi Ghat is Tushar’s first feature film as Director of Photography.
Nishant Radhakrishnan grew up in Mumbai, India among the films of Kerala, Europe and Iran. He started his career in the movies as an Assistant Director on the feature film, Split Wide Open (1999), and several made-for-tv films. In 2004, he completed the Master's Program in Film at the American University School of Communication. He then worked as an Assistant Editor on the controversial documentary series, PBS Frontline. After his stint at PBS, he edited a wide range of television shows and documentaries (In Our Backyard and The Saint of Chitrakoot) and returned to Mumbai to edit Indian language feature films. His feature film credits include Below The Loin and Dhobi Ghat.
Ayush Ahuja was born in Mumbai, India - where he spent much of his time trying to find silence in a noisy city. He studied sound at the National Film and Television School in England and has worked on a variety of documentary, fiction and animation films as well as radio drama for the BBC. His other interests include acoustic ecology and electro-acoustic music and finding a good cup of tea.
After completing her Diploma in Applied Arts at Sophiya Polytechnic, Mumbai, Manisha Khandelwal worked as a visualizer for leading advertising agencies in India. Khandelwal quickly rose as an Art Director in Indian Advertising and Creative Group Head at Contract Advertising. Her love for filmmaking however made her move from advertising to films. She started by assisting the South African production designer Julie Bonnet on the Indian feature film Cheeni Kum and has never looked back since. An award-winning artist Khandelwal has production designed dozens of high profile commercials. She is the recipient of the Best Production Design award at the GoaFest2010 (Indian Advertising Awards.) She is a Silver medalist for her work on Fevicol -Moochwali, with a Bronze for Castrol - Nautanki. Dhobi Ghat is her first credit as Production Designer on a full length feature film.
SOUND MIXING ENGINEER
Anup Dev is a Mumbai based sound mixing engineer with over 20 years of experience in the business. What began as a passion for sound morphed into a prolific career after Dev graduated from India’s top film institution FTII Pune in 1982. Dev quickly found his feet in Mumbai’s burgeoning film industry and was snapped up by Anand Recording Studio. His early works include Pardes, Dil to Pagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Mohabbatein. Dev’s sweeping range encompasses independents such as Shootout at Lokhandwala and the Japanese Wife to the critically acclaimed Omkara, the popular cult film Rock On and Taare Zameen Par, India’s official entry to the Academy Awards as well as Bollywood blockbusters Wanted, Ghajini and 3 Idiots. Dev’s multiple accolades include a State Government Award for Deva Shappath Khare Sangen, Zee Cine Awards for Soldier and Paheli, IIFA awards for Aitraaz, Black and 3 Idiots and the prestigious National Award for Moksh.
BELLE SHRINIVAS RAO
Born in a small village near Udipi in coastal Karnataka, Belle Shrinivas Rao, quickly caught the eye of legendary filmmaker Dulal Guha and began his career as a production assistant on such Guha films such as Do Anjaane, Dil Ka Heera, Dhan Daulat, Do Dishayen, Khan Dost, Dhuan, Sagar Sangam and Ilaaka. Rao’s other films include Baap Numberi Beta Dus Numberi, Dil Hi Toh Hai and Sanam and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades. When Indian superstar Aamir Khan launched Aamir Khan Productions, Rao was the obvious choice for line producer for what went on to become the Academy Award nominated Lagaan. Since then Rao has been the back bone of Aamir Khan Productions working as executive producer on all of Khan’s productions including the award winning Taare Zaamen Par, the immensely popular and box office hit Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Peepli Live – the first Indian film to play in World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2010 and Dhobi Ghat, Kiran Rao’s directorial debut. Rao is considered to be one of the foremost executive producers in Hindi cinema.
A B.Com (Hons) graduate and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Bimal Parekh, has carved out a niche in the Indian entertainment industry. He specializes in structuring of financing for films, accounting and taxation relating to films production in India. Parekh has over 25 years of experience and was involved with some of the biggest blockbusters of Indian Cinema including the Academy Award nominated Lagaan for Best Foreign Language Film 2001, the break out Dil Chahta Hai, Swades, the BAFTA nominated Rang De Basanti 2006, Don,
Taare Zameen Par, India’s official selection to the Academy Awards 2008, Tahaan, Rock On, Jodha Akbar, Kaminey, Wake Up Sid, Peepli Live (the first Indian film to be in World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2010), Tees Maar Khan
Sunitha Ram graduated from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, India and proceeded to work with one of India’s leading television commercial production houses Genesis Films. With production and set experience in dozens of commercials, Ram jumped ship to work in feature films working as 1st Asst. Director on films like American Daylight and Exitz, Ram went on to line produce the critically lauded
Taare Zameen Par, and Dhobi Ghat selected for the Toronto International Film Festival 2010 as a Special Presentation. Ram is also the Executive Producer on Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Bali. Ram continues to straddle both ad films and features.
Having lived in Mumbai for 50 years, Kishor Sawant began working backstage in Marathi Experimental Theater before entering the film industry. Sawant has worked on several documentaries, docu-dramas, promos, commercials and game shows. He was a production manager for more than 20 short films, documentaries and features including winners of the prestigious National Award Narayan Gangaram Surve and Chutkan ki Mahabharat. Other productions are Journeys, Seven Islands and a Metro and Bombay Railway, all of which have enjoyed success at festivals worldwide. Kishor Sawant is an active member of Prabhat Chitra Mandal Film Society. Dhobi Ghat is his first feature film as a line producer.
FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Advait Chandan started working as a set runner for Indian ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar right out of junior college. He has since worked as an assistant director on several television commercials and feature films such as Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., the critically acclaimed Taare Zameen Par, India’s official entry to the 2008 Academy Awards and the Dutch feature The Bollywood Hero. His first short film written and directed by him, Kala Khatta, won a Special Jury Mention at the 2009 MAMI Film Fest, Mumbai. Dhobi Ghat is his first film as a first assistant director.
ISHA AHLUWALIA & DARSHAN JALAN
Design graduates from N.I.F.T, Isha Ahluwalia and Darshan Jalan worked as costume designers on indie films such as Matroobhoomi, Ek Tho Chance, Rectangular Love Story & Mithya,Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, Fakir of Venice (unreleased), Sidhartha the Prisoner, Peter Gaya Kaam Se (unreleased), Bombay Summer, Dhobi Ghat and mainstream Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, to name a few. Their theatre experience includes Antigone. The duo have also worked as costume designers on several high profile commercials for Economic Times, Canon, Compaq, Lays, Hyundai, Coke, Pepsi, Ponds, Lakme, Polo, Sony Ericsson and ESPN among others. Jalan and Ahluwalia have been actively involved in television working on channel design, packaging and promos for MTV, Channel V, VH1, Pragya etc., as well music videos for bands such as State of Bengal, Sanjay Divecha and Kailash Kher. Ahluwalia, an accomplished milliner, showcased her millinery skills at the July’2010 Delhi couture week for designer Gaurav Gupta. Jalan is currently working on the film My Friend Pinto.
ARTIST – ARUN’S FINAL PAINTING
Ravi Mandlik was born in 1960 at Achalpur, Maharashtra, obtained a G.D. Art in painting, first class, from the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. Nationally Mandlik has held several prominent solo exhibitions and participated in eminent art shows internationally like Spectrum 2009 Indian Art at ABU DHABI, Imprints, The Ueno Royal Museum TOKYO, 2007, Power of Peace, Bali, 2007, organized by Tao art gallery, International Show organized by Articulate, NEW YORK, 2007, The Indiart Show 2006, The Chapel Gallery, Singapore, Maratha Kaleidoscope Al Diyafa Center, Satwa, Dubai, 2002; W/N Millennium Show at London, Brussels, Stockholm and New York, 1999; International Art Exhibition, Yokohama Citizens’ Gallery, JAPAN, 1995. Mandlik attended the International Art Camp in Japan 2010 and Hong Kong and Macau 2008. Mandlik’s numerous awards and accolades include the Winsor & Newton Worldwide Millennium painting competition 1999, the Bendre-Hussain Scholarship1995-96 and the Seychelles Visual Art Biennale. Other achievements include an award from the Art Society of India (1985), Usha Deshmukh Gold-Medal from Sir J.J. School of Art (1985), Fellowship from Sir J. J. School of Art (1984). He was invited to visit and represent India in an international art exhibition organized by Yokohama Citizens’ Gallery, Japan. His paintings are a part of the collections at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai and Delhi, Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi, Maharashtra State Government and many private collections in India and abroad.
ARTIST – ARUN’S GALLERY WORK
Sukanya Ghosh is an artist, animation filmmaker and designer. She studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda and animation at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been the recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Award, the Sarai Independent Fellowship and has been Artist-in-Residence in Spike Island, England and AIR Vallauris, France. She has done the publicity design for the films Taare Zameen Par and Peepli Live and has worked extensively on design and art projects spanning a wide variety of things. Currently she is preoccupied with trying to translate the voices in her head into art.
STILL PHOTOGRAPHY – SHAI’S PHOTOGRAPHS
Jyotika Jain is a photographer based in Mumbai, India. Her photographic odyssey began with her documenting the ladies special trains/compartments of the local trains in Mumbai. Jain exhibited the series at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in 2009.
It has also been published in some of the international editions of Marie Claire magazine, Tu Style in Italy and Omroep Hindoe Media in Holland. On winning,
‘The Travel Photographer and Foundry Scholarship,’ she attended the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Manali (2009). Later she was invited to participate in the Angkor Photo Workshops (2009) in Siem Reap, Cambodia where she documented the lives of the Buddhist nuns living in the wats and exhibited this series at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in 2010. This photo reportage has been published in Mid-day, India. She is currently documenting the dying Jewish and Parsi communities of India besides working on independent assignments.
Shai Monica Dogra
Yasmin Kriti Malhotra
Arun Aamir Khan
Written & Directed by Kiran Rao
Produced by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
Music Composer Gustavo Santaolalla
Director of Photography Tushar Kanti Ray
Editor Nishant Radhakrishnan
Sound Mixing Engineer Anup Dev
Sound Designer Ayush Ahuja
Production Designer Manisha Khandelwal
Costume Designers Isha Ahluwalia, Darshan Jalan
Financial Advisor Bimal Parekh
Executive Producer B. Shrinivas Rao
Line Producers Sunitha Ram, Kishor Sawant
Still Photography Jyotika Jain
Final Painting Ravi Mandlik
Art Gallery work Sukanya Ghosh
First A.D. Advait Chandan
DI Colorist Kiran Kumar Kota
VFX Supervisor Ashoke Chowdhury
Publicity and Promotions Spice
Publicity Designer Marching Ants
Make-up Jogindra Gupta (for Aamir Khan),
Hair Joyce Luize Margaret
Action Directors Javed-Aejaz
Written & Directed by Kiran Rao
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