Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2006
Country: INDIA, USA
Language: Hindi
Run Time: 111 minutes


Like most teenage girls, Vanaja is just a little too eager to grow up. After a mystic predicts Vanaja's future as a talented dancer, the ambitious young girl leaves her father, an alcoholic fisherman, to pursue the prophecy. Before long, Vanaja finagles her way into a job at the house of Rama Devi, a former master of kuchipudi (a South Indian dance usually only performed by high-caste Brahmins) who also happens to be the richest woman in this rural Indian town. Though merely a farmhand, Vanaja uses her exuberance and charm to earn a position inside the house (and closer to Rama Devi). Soon after, despite her social standing, Vanaja begins to learn kuchipudi from the boss herself. When Shekhar, Rama Devi's philandering son, returns home from the United States, he quickly warms to his mother's new protégé. But Vanaja's caste cannot be ignored forever. VANAJA beautifully and skillfully tells this gripping coming-of-age story in a world of ancient art and social segregation. (In Telugu with English subtitles) – E.J.B.

CIFF31 Screenings

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 11:30 AM

  • This screening has been cancelled.

Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 9:30 PM

  • This screening has been cancelled.

Rajnesh Domalpalli

Rajnesh Domalpalli

Latha R. Domalapalli

Milton Kam

Robert Q. Lovett

Principal Cast
Mamatha Bhukya, Urmila Dammannagari, Ramachandriah Marikanti, Krishnamma Gundimalla, Karan Singh

Film Contact
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