Nitin Desai turns director with Ajintha-an untold story

MUMBAI: Following the footsteps of art director Samir Chanda, noted art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai has turned to direction with his ambitious Marathi-English film, Ajintha-an untold story.

A period film of the 18th century, Ajintha-an untold story revolves around exploring the truth of discovering the Ajanta Caves and the love story of a British officer Major Robert Gill who falls in love with an Adivasi girl, Paro. It reveals the truth of who really explored Ajanta caves and its striking paintings.

The strong research and real study is revealed through the film which say that Paro from Lenapur, the village closest to the Ajanta caves, played an important role for the British officer to find the essence of the caves that later became world renowned for exotic paintings, impressive architecture and long-forgotten history.

Talking about the inspiration behind his will to make the film, Desai averred, “Unfolding the pages of history has always been a passion to me like I made a mega serial on Shivaji Maharaj named Raja Shiv Chhatrapati, a tele-serial on Bajirao Mastani and one of the most critically-acclaimed blockbuster films, Bal Gandharva. It has always been my dream to make a film on Ajanta Caves since I saw the caves when I was in class 8. For the last several years, I researched a lot on the subject with noted Marathi poet and historian ND Mahanot.”

Why a period film and what was the purpose behind the making? “Through the film, I want our beautiful Indian heritage and the real story behind it to reach out to not only youngsters in our country but also those from abroad. The seed of the story was germinating in my mind for several years but now with the strong support of my team, I can see it turning into a huge fruitful tree,” observed Desai.

“On the whole, Ajintha will give the glimpses of the true epic story of a girl who became a major source of inspiration of Gill, sufferer of the misery and their untold love story," he added.

The cast of the film comprises Philip Scot Wallace, last seen in the latest edition of Sherlock Holmes, Sonalee Kulkarni, Makrand Deshpande, Manoj Kolhatkar, Jian Bostoch and Manoj Joshi.

Produced under the banner of Iconic Chandrakant Productions, the film has been invited to participate in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Since Wallace is a Britisher himself, Desai will premiere his film in London in May. It is scheduled to release in India in June.

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