Dharm’s Talwar nominated for Gucci Award


MUMBAI: Debutante director Bhavana Talwar, whose film Dharm was released earlier this year, has been nominated for the second annual Gucci Group Award that will be presented on 3 September, 2007 during the 64th Venice Film Festival.


Talwar’s Dharm explored religious fanaticism and caste conflicts in India and starred Pankaj Kapur and Supriya Pathak Kapur amongst others.


Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, an elated Talwar says, “I am extremely happy. I thought that Dharm getting selected at Cannes was the best thing that happened. This is even better.”


The Gucci Group Award is bestowed to an internationally-acclaimed artist who has made a remarkable contribution to a film in any capacity within the past 18 months, as a director, actor, screenwriter, set designer, or costume designer.


Apart from Talwar, the others that have been nominated are novelist Lee Chang-Dong for writing and direction of Secret Sunshine, for which Jeon Do- Yeon won Best Actress at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival; photographer Anton Corbijn for his directorial debut, Control, a biopic about Joy Division front man Ian Curtis; visual artist Julian Schnabel for direction of Le Scaphandre et le Papillion, (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) for which he won Best Director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival; and visual artist Piotr Uklanski for writing and direction of Summer Love, the first Polish Spaghetti Western.


On being queried as to whether she thought she had a chance of winning, Talwar says, “Of course I am dying to win. It is going to be huge for me. I think they will let us know earlier if we win; so if I do end up winning, I will definitely go.”


Talwar is planning to a September – October international release for Dharm. “The terroteries have been sold but the release will only be in September,” she informs.


Danny Huston, Michelle Yeoh, and Francesco Vezzoli are among the members of the 2007 Gucci Group Award Selection Committee.


“Gucci Group is committed to recognizing and honouring visionaries who transform their art into experiences which we all can embrace. We are honoured to work with the Venice Film Festival, and together we share a mission to support artists whose talents transcend ordinary limits, who possess the courage for expression in new and untried media, and who have brought their art to life on screen,” said Gucci Group chairman and CEO Robert Polet.


The 2007 Selection Committee is comprised Marco Muller, the director of the 64th Venice Film Festival; actor and director Danny Huston; Stefano Tonchi, editor- in-chief of the New York Times Style magazine; Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, whose installment “Democrazy,” is currently at the 52nd International Art Exhibition; and actress and producer Michelle Yeoh. Each Selection Committee member nominated one artist and together will determine the winner of the award.


“The Gucci Group Award at the Venice Film Festival honours the multi- talented genius and innovation of artists who paint their canvasses and write their stories into moving pictures. Together with the 2007 Selection Committee, we have chosen the best and brightest international artists, who, through broad creative metamorphosis, continue to challenge our hearts and minds,” said 64th Venice Film Festival director Marco Muller.