Award-winning producer-turned-filmmaker Shiladitya Bora’s debut directorial feature ‘Bhagwan Bharose’ is set to make its world premiere at the prestigious UK Asian Film Festival. The film will be headlining the festival’s closing gala on May 13 at the historic Kiln Theatre in North West London. Co-Produced by Sri Lankan Auteur filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage along with Platoon One Films (Shiladitya Bora, Shilpi Agarwal), Lighthouse Innoventures (Milapsinh Jadeja, Sanyukta Gupta) and Sri Sathya Sai Arts (K K Radhamohan), the Hindi film is a tender coming-of-age drama, based on a story by Sudhakar Neelmani.
The film features original music by cult Indian rock band Indian Ocean (Black Friday, Gulaal, Masaan) with lyrics by Sanjeev Sharma (Peepli Live).
“Bhagwan Bharose” tells the story of two impressionable kids struggling with their understanding of God and religion in 1990s India. The film takes audiences on an emotional journey as they witness the family’s struggle to hold on to their beliefs while facing challenges that threaten to tear them apart. Introducing two talented young finds Satendra Soni and Sparsh Suman, the film features a stellar ensemble cast led by acclaimed actors Vinay Pathak, Masumeh Makhija, Manurishi Chaddha, Shrikant Verma (Panchayat, Dum Laga Ke Haisha), Sawan Tank (Sui Dhaga), and Krishna Singh Bisht (Sulemani Keeda, Newton).
Director Shiladitya Bora shared his happiness about the world premiere, stating, “I feel blessed that a long cherished dream was made possible by a passionate and hardworking group of people, the best cast and crew one can have. This film is a labor of love, and I cannot wait for audiences to experience the story and the incredible performances from our talented cast. We’re thrilled to start our journey with the prestigious UK Asian Film Festival in its silver jubilee edition, and hope to bring it back home to India soon.”
Vinay Pathak says, “Bhagwan Bharose is a sweet and special story, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of Shiladitya’s first directorial venture. May this wonderful news be the start of his long illustrious cinema journey.”
Masumeh Makhija says, “Bhagwan Bharose is a film that explores very hard-hitting themes and has immense relevance in contemporary India. This is a project made with true passion and we’re all immensely happy that it will finally be out in the world.”
The UK Asian Film Festival London is known for showcasing groundbreaking films that push boundaries and challenge audiences. The festival is organized by the not-for-profit organization Tongues on Fire and is supported by the BFI and Arts Council England. The makers are confident that the festival (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) will provide the perfect launchpad for their film, offering a unique perspective on the complexities of faith in contemporary Indian society on the global stage.
Bora is the founder of Platoon One Films and this festival selection comes close on the heels of their Marathi production Ghaath’s world premiere at the Berlinale Film Festival in February 2023. Bora had earlier produced the Marathi film Picasso which has won a Special Mention at the 2020 National Films Awards and was Amazon Prime’s first direct-to-stream Marathi acquisition, as well as Yours Truly, a drama starring Soni Razdan, Pankaj Tripathi and Ahana Kumra which premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2018 and is now streaming on Zee5. A producer, filmmaker, distributor, marketeer and syndicator, Bora has also been associated with some of the best Indian independent cinema of the past decade with films such as Sir, Court, Masaan, Newton among others. A former Berlinale talent, Bora’s debut short film, Aapke Aa Jane Se, won the best international short film award at the prestigious CineIndependent Film Festival 2019 in Cincinnati.
To celebrate the news, the makers have released an intriguing first look poster for the film. Slated for a Summer 2023 release, Bhagwan Bharose is produced by Platoon One Films in association with Lighthouse Innoventures and Sri Sathya Sai Arts.