HomeBollywoodDal Bhat is the National Award-Winning LGBTQ Story of a 10-Year-Old Boy...

Dal Bhat is an award-winning film exploring the theme of LGBTQ, set against the backdrop of Kutch, Gujarat. The story of a young boy’s struggle with his own identity.

Dal Bhat is the National Award-Winning LGBTQ Story of a 10-Year-Old Boy Struggling with His Identity

‘Dal Bhat’, a National Award-winning LGBTQ-themed film, stands as a testament to the vibrant spirit of independent, cause-driven cinema in India, thanks to the vision of a young director and a team of college friends. Their zest and sense of purpose helped them overcome many challenges during the making of the film, including the loss of Aditi Bohra, a beloved screenwriter and a dear friend.

For Nemil Shah, Aditi Bohra, Vinayak Chhabra, Senain Sawant, Dharmaj Joshi, Mitali Solanki and Rishab Joshi, ‘Dal Bhat’ was all about telling a relevant story and putting into practice what they had learned as young filmmaking students in their twenties. The National Award was far from their minds.

Director Nemil Shah shared, “Winning the National Award is bittersweet because it reminds us of our dear friend and collaborator Aditi. ‘Dal Bhat’ demanded our all and this is our tribute to him.”

‘Dal Bhat’ is set in the arid lands of Kutch, Gujarat; It tells the touching story of the emergence of a new lake after a long drought, and the journey of 10-year-old Mukti, who struggles with her identity when her access to the lake is denied. The film features a talented cast including Sanjay Mishra and Jinay Haria. During the making of the film, the team of ‘Dal Bhat’ traveled to Saurashtra and immersed themselves in the lives of transgender residents and were inspired by their courage and struggles.

The search for the perfect actress to play Mukti was an arduous task, with eight hundred auditions and parental hesitation. Nemil Shah recalled: “We worked diligently and also brought together a remarkable young cast from Mumbai and Kutch, and this would not have been possible without a dedicated team. ”

Vinayak Chhabra, 1st Assistant Director and a key crew member, said, “It was amazing to work on a strong theme and frankly some of us were quite naive about the impact of the film. We all worked as a team and gave everything we had to this movie. It is a surreal feeling for the film to win the National Award.”

What started as a love of cinema turned into a profound mission when his college friends realized the tremendous impact of narrative. “Our journey with ‘Dal Bhat’ has filled us with immense pride,” Vinayak stated.

Assistant Director Senain Sawant credits Nemil and Aditi for the vision of ‘Dal Bhat’: “I always knew that it was an important film even though it was seemingly a simple story about a little boy. But we knew we wanted to treat the story with the sensitivity it needed. Kutch’s harsh winter and the challenges of our limited budgets further strengthened our resolve. “We’re still trying to come to terms with the fact that a project we did as young adults reached the right audience and had the impact it did.”

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