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Of missing elephants and a passion for dance

As red carpet events go, this one is extraordinary.

And no, we're not talking plunging necklines. We're talking about Vanaja, a little known Indian language film that got a special red carpet welcome in New York City on August 22 in the form of an elephant!

The film with no stars has travelled to more than 30 countries worldwide and shown at some 70 film festivals winning, besides winning the best debut feature film award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The distributor of Emerging Pictures had hired an elephant to welcome writer and director Rajnesh Domalpalli and the luminous Mamatha Bhukya, who plays the title role.

The premiere took place at an elegant venue on August 22 at one of the Lincoln Center theatres. The film, which revolves around a young woman (Mamatha), daughter of a fisherman, whose passion for dance takes her into the corridors of the rich and powerful, changing her destiny forever, is being released in New York on August 31.

It is expected to travel to at least 15 cities in America and Canada.

Text: Arthur J Pais | Photographs: Jay Mandal

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