IMDb > Vanaja (2006)
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Vanaja (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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7.2/10   355 votes »
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Release Date:
31 August 2007 (USA) See more »
Vanaja, the 15 year old daughter of a financially troubled fisherman goes to work in the local landlady's house in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
26 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(9 articles)
Nfdc, Dussart bond over Avani
 (From ScreenDaily. 22 November 2014, 6:00 PM, PST)

India at 64th Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 3-13)
 (From 2 August 2011, 2:15 AM, PDT)

Locarno Open Doors to screen Indian classics
 (From 15 July 2011, 2:02 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
An extraordinary film! See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Rajnesh Domalpalli 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rajnesh Domalpalli 

Produced by
Latha R. Domalapalli .... producer
Andrew Lund .... executive producer
Sarju Patel .... line producer
Original Music by
Indira Amperiani 
Bhaskara S. Narayanan 
Cinematography by
Milton Kam 
Film Editing by
Rajnesh Domalpalli (co-editor)
Robert Q. Lovett 
Production Design by
Nagulu Busigampala 
Production Management
Naveen Challa .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Raja Krishna .... assistant director
Sound Department
Krishna Bolagani .... boom operator
Radhakrishna Eskala .... sound
Scott Greenhaw .... sound recordist
Andrew Halasz .... supervising sound editor
Koteswara Rao S.V. .... associate sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan McIntyre Smith .... gaffer
Alan McIntyre Smith .... still photographer
Other crew
Elayaraja .... smoke artist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

USA:111 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
An extraordinary film!, 17 October 2007
Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York

Vanaja (2006), written and directed by Rajnesh Domalpalli, is an extraordinary film from South India. Mamatha Bhukya plays 15-year-old Vanaja, who lives in a rural area with her loving but alcoholic father. If she is going to succeed in life, she will have to overcome the liabilities of low caste and poverty.

I went to the film expecting the depiction of a wretched girl who is crushed by society. This isn't what "Vanaja" shows us. The young woman is attractive, intelligent, and ambitious. She won't accept her fate with tears or simple resignation. She wants to succeed, and it's never clear that she won't succeed, despite the odds.

The acting that Mr. Domalpalli draws forth from his cast of amateurs is miraculous. Mamatha Bhukya is outstanding in the title role, and Urmila Dammannagari does an exceptional job as Mrs. Rama Devi, the wealthy landowner who is a formerly famous classical dancer.

In the film Vanaja learns South Indian classical dance, as she did in real life. I couldn't tell how good Vanaja's dancing was by Indian standards, but the many dance scenes were spellbinding. (Don't think Bollywood--this is classical dance. It's also very different from ballet, because in ballet the dancer lifts her heels away from the floor. In South Indian dance, the heel is the primary contact point.)

This is a movie that is not to be missed. It will work on DVD, but will be better on a theater screen because the dancing will be shown to better advantage. However, if DVD is your only option, then see it that way. Just be sure to see it.

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Amazing music!! stan-geurts
Vanaja matthew-platt
Awesome Movie... Dae1
Vanaja showing at Tongues on Fire Asian Film Festival, London March 08 tonguesonfire-1
How good was the dancing? Red-125
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