EXCLUSIVE: From Indian director Leena Yadav, Parched will have its world premiere in Toronto as a Special Presentation this Saturday. Set in a rural Indian village called Ujhaas, the story centers on three ordinary women who begin to break free from century-old traditions that have kept them locked in servitude. Check out a clip above.
The film has an interesting pedigree. Oscar winning Titanic DP Russell Carpenter shot it and it’s produced by superstar Ajay Devgn. Yadav’s credits include her debut feature Shabd in 2005 which starred Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt. She followed that up with Teen Patti in 2010 starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley.
Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane, Monsoon Shootout), Radhika Apte (Clean Shaven), Surveen Chawla (Ugly), and newcomer Lehar Khan star in Parched, a passion project for the director.
Chatterjee plays Rani, a woman who was married at 13 and widowed at 16. Her life’s sole purpose since then has been to raise her son. Apte is Lajjo, her closest friend whose “greatest failure” is that she is infertile. When she learns men can be infertile, too, nothing will stop her from getting pregnant, not the fear of social banishment, nor the violent beatings of her drunk husband. Chawla plays Bijli, a beautiful dancer and prostitute despised by the village women save Rani and Lajjo. Khan is Janaki, the child bride of Rani’s son, thrown into a cruel adult world. One fateful night, the lives of these women intertwine setting a new course for each of them.
Seville International is handling offshore rights with The Gersh Agency on domestic.