Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has kickstarted the campaign for the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2022 for his film Gangubai Kathiawadi. Starring Alia Bhatt in the lead role, Gangubai Kathiawadi turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year in India.
The film will be submitted for all the key categories including – Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Leading Actress and Film Not in the English Language. The award ceremony will be held at the Royal Festival Hall in London in February 2023.
Bhansali will also be hosting a BAFTA Masterclass on November 28. Talking about the international interest that the film has generated, he said, “We are immensely blessed to have received so much appreciation for our film globally and we’re very excited to be part of the conversation this awards season amongst BAFTA voters.” Earlier, Bhansali’s Devdas, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan, was nominated at the 56th BAFTA in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Alia Bhatt, who received a lot of appreciation for playing the titular character said in a statement, “It is a great honour to take Gangubai Kathiawadi to the world stage and it gives me nothing but joy to be on this journey with Sanjay Sir. The world has shown the film a lot of love and appreciation and we are excited to receive this love in the UK as well.”
Gangubai Kathiawadi was the first Hindi hit of the year in India. At the domestic box office, the film managed to earn Rs 129.10 crore, making it the fourth highest grossing Hindi film of the year after Brahmastra, The Kashmir Files and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2.
In an earlier interview with The Indian Express, Alia spoke about her preparation of the character and said, “I worked on my dialect – Gujarati and Marathi accent. I worked with a Gujarati language coach. I speak in a higher tone and I had to bring my bass down. I also watched many old videos featuring Waheeda Rehman, Meena Kumari, Madhubala. I also watched Mandi (1983) and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) to understand the sentiments of a sex-worker – her desires and dreams. Sir was keen that I should observe the elegance and grace with which these actors perform. He also asked me to observe their demeanour, how they tuck roses in their hair, and especially, the softness in their eyes. Gangubai is a very feminine character – she dresses up in saris. She loves gold jewellery, she even has a gold tooth. She carries a bottle of Rani Chhap (alcohol) in her hand. She is a woman who is hardened inside.”