Indian Golden Peacock-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh’s third feature Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) will have its World Premiere at 24th Busan International Film Festivalto be held from 3-12 October 2019
 and is nominated for Kim Jiseok Award.
The film will have its India Premiere at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star to be held from 17-24 October in the prestigious section, India Gold featuring best talent from India.

Khanaur is the third feature film by Gurvinder Singh after the critically acclaimed AnheGhore da Daan (Golden Peacock, Venice Orizzonti-2011and National Award) and ChauthiKoot (Un Certain Regard-Cannes 2015, Golden Gateway of India, MAMI and National Award).

Made in Pahari, Hindi and English language, Khanaur looks at the aspirations, fears, and insecurities of living in the present times through its protagonist, Kishan who works in a café and witnessing fast changing life around him and has to make a choice: whether to live a predictable life around his remote Himalayan village or migrate to the city.

Khanaur is a personal film for the filmmaker unlike his earlier two films, which were based on words of Punjabi literature and is inspired by his stay in the mountains of Bir in Himachal Pradesh where he ran a café and features the boy who worked in the café as a protagonist.The filmmaker has worked with a mix of actors and non-actors in both his previous films, but with Khanaur he has gone ahead and cast all non-actors.

The film features KishanKatwal who works in the café run by the filmmaker in Bir as protagonist along with his family members PawanKatwa, Rani Devi, Bhankher Devi, GopiKatwal and MonishaMukundan as Café owner.

The film is produced by Bobby Bedi and co-produced by Nisheeth Kumar and Kartikeya Singh.

According to Gurvinder Singh,“Khanaur is the vernacular word for a Himalayan variety of Bitter Chestnut, which the villagers believe is cursed, but made edible by washing regularly for seven straight days. It stands as a metaphor for the beauty of the region and its people and their immediate contact with the environment, yet the immense hardships of such a life.. The film looks at the aspirations, fears, and insecurities of living in the present times, through the eyes of a young boy Kishan, as he yearns for the bitterness to eventually fade away from the Khanaur.

“Having moved to the mountains four years ago, I was witness to a flux of cultures and movements: the largely secluded remote mountainous villages until a few years ago, coming in contact with rapidly expanding tourism and influx of a few outsiders looking for solace from the mammoth and deteriorating urban city centers and wanting to live an alternate and ecologically sustaining life. At the same time, new exposure leading the local village boys to go explore life in the plains and its cities, in the hope for better eco- nomic benefits.”

After graduating from the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, in 2001, Gurvinder Singh has directed two features in Punjabi, ‘Alms For The Blind Horse’ and ‘ChauthiKoot’ (Fourth Direction), which have premiered at Venice Film Festival (Orrizonti, 2011) and Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard, 2015), respectively. His films have travelled widely to various film festivals, including Rotterdam, Busan, Munich, London, Rio De Janeiro, etc. He has won the Special Jury Award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Grand Prix at the Belgrade Auteur Film Festival; the Silver Screen Award for Best Asian film at Singapore; The Golden Peacock for Best Film at the International Film Festival of India, Goa; and the Golden Gateway at Mumbai Film Festival. ‘Khanaur’ (Bitter Chestnut) is his third feature.. He is currently working on his fourth feature, titled ‘AdhChananiRaat’ (Crescent Night) in Punjabi.

Sundeep Singh (Bobby) Bedi is an award-winning film and audio-visual content producer from India. Amongst the critically-acclaimed films produced by him are the Academy Awards® entry Bandit Queen (1994), Deepa Mehta’s Fire, The hit film Saathiya, (2002), Macbeth adaptation Maqbool (2003) and the historical epic Mangal Pandey, The Rising (2005).

Kartikeya Singh’ the co- producer of the filmhas produced for notable directors like Gurvinder Singh, Amit Dutta and Ivan Ayr. His films include ‘AnheyGhorhey Da Daan’, ‘ChauthiKoot’ and ‘Soni’. He is a Recipient of the National Award for ‘ChauthiKoot’ for Best Punjabi Film. ‘Khanaur’ (Bitter Chestnut) is his third feature collaboration with Gurvinder Singh.

I had the opportunity to meet Gurrinder in the closing ceremony of IFFI at Goa and congratulated him immediately after hereceived the Golden peacock Award for the Best Film, “Alms for the Blind Horse”. The beauty is that this was his debut film and made in regional language, Punjabi. After the award ceremony, we sailed together in a boat from Kala Academy to cross the river(Apart of sea at the back Kala Academy.  ) to reach a very ancient fort, where the dinner was organized by the then Chief Minister of Goa, late Mr. ManoharParrikar in the honour of Award winners and other VIPs .Gurrinder has been a great disciple of legendary filmmaker, Mani kaul.

I wish Gurrinder a great success of his third film,”Khanaur”internationally.

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