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Naach Bhikhari Naach by Jainendra Kumar Dost and Shilpi Gulati

The Film captures the lives of four Launda Naach performers, originally a part of Bhikhari Thakur's legendary Naach troupe in Bihar. It weaves the journey of a folk tradition that along with song, dance and drama, includes the practice of female impersonation by male actors. As the protagonists narrate their life stories, they provide an insight into the politics and aesthetics of the works of "the old man" - the "Shakespeare of Bhojpuri".

Gold Award, Jakarta International Film & Art Festival
Jecheon International Music & Film Festival, Seoul
Best Documentary, Film Festival of Boston, Burlington
International Film Festival of India, Goa
Echo BRICS Film Festival, Moscow
Woodpecker International Film Festival, New Delhi
Jagran Film Festival, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna

Shilpi Gulati is a filmmaker from Delhi, whose body of work largely engages with gender, identity and oral narratives of regional communities in India. While her independent projects Dere tun Dilli and Inside Out have been screened at various festivals across South Asia, her last film Qissa-e Parsi won her the National Award. Shilpi is also an actor and workshop facilitator with pandies' theatre - a group that works on creating theatre with women and young adults. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Cinema Studies from JNU and working on her first feature documentary.

Jainendra Kumar Dost is a doctoral scholar at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. His work examines the social and political realities of Launda Nach and Bhikhari Thakur's folk theatre in Bihar. His theoretical inquiry closely ties into his experience as a theatre practitioner over the 18 years where he has directed 11 stage productions and acted in more than 15 national and international theatre presentations. Jainendra is also the Director of Bhikhari Thakur Repertory Training and Research Centre which is working towards the revival of folk theatre in Bihar.

  • Cinematography: Udit Khurana
  • Sound: Varun Venugopal
  • Editing: Shilpi Gulati
  • Music: Bhikhari Thakur Repertory
  • Research: Jainendra Dost
  • Translations: Lourdes Mary Supriya, Jainendra Dost
  • Assistant Director: Vishwa Gulati
  • Project Partner: Doordarshan

Festival, screening and distribution queries: distribution@psbt.org