Mumbai: Rajkummar Rao to play a cameo role in Vinod Rawat’s debut feature film Pushtaini which will be making its South Asia premiere in the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023 in the South Asian Focus section. The festival will be held fromOctober 27 – November 5, 2023
Rajkummar Rao Instagram Post Link: https://www.instagram.
Rajkumar has also done an interesting special appearance in the film. Rawat and Rao have known each other from their Delhi days, where they did theater together and later on studied acting in FTII.
Pushtaini is about Bhuppi, a struggling actor who finds himself caught in an embarrassing scandal and is desperate to secure his last chance at stardom. Forced to return to his home and face his past, Bhuppi travels through the mountains and shares adventures with strangers, unaware of what the journey has in store for him.
The film produced by Lotus Dust Pictures and VinRaw Films marks Vinod’s feature debut as an actor-director-writer-
Vinod shot to fame with the International Emmy Awards nominated series Aarya which he co-directed with Ram Madhvani. He also wrote and directed an award-winning short film MAD. Alumni from FTII, Vinod is also a leading acting coach and has coached stars like Hrithik Roshan, Sushmita Sen and Sonam Kapoor among others.
Talking about collaborating with Vinod Rawat, Rajkummar Rao, says, “Vinod is one of my closest friends. We started our journey together in Delhi where we used to work together in a theater group. As an actor I often pick my roles based on characters and the bigger narrative they contribute to. This is where Pushtaini fitted in so well. Discussing it with Vinod, I was hooked on the idea of its protagonist Bhuppi who hails from a rural hillock showing his chance to work with me at the peak of his career. Bhuppi represents many young people whose values and ambitions are challenged almost everyday in cities like Mumbai and through this film, I wanted to reach to them with a message of hope. The scene that I had with Vinod’s character Bhuppi is one of the important events in Bhuppi’s life and when Vinod approached me with the scene, I was more than happy to be a part of it as I’ve immense faith in Vinod’s talent both as an actor and as a director and I wanted to be a part of his wonderful process.”
Writer-director Vinod Rawat says, “Raj and I both studied in FTII and I have always valued his creative opinions on acting and cinema in general and so he was one of the first that I narrated Pushatini to for advice. Fortunately for me, Raj instantly recognised the nuances in the scene and offered to act in the film. He features in the very first scene and plays an important part in the main character’s life at that point. I wanted to show the main character in a vulnerable place on a film set in front of a big star. Yet this big star (Raj) embodies ease and grace while navigating the chaotic and tense environment of a film set and showing empathy for the main character.”
He adds, “Rajkummar is a talent powerhouse and represents the kind of films where stars are much more relatable to the life around you. That’s the kind of film Pushtaini is and hence Rajkummar just naturally fitted the role for me. Also he is my dearest friend and he was more than happy to do this guest appearance in my debut film. When I narrated Pushtaini to him, he instantly recognized how he can be a role model for the film’s protagonist Bhuppi and many others like him who dream of making it big one day in Bollywood.”
A struggling Bollywood actor falls into deep despair when he finds himself caught in an embarrassing scandal. In a race against time to save his reputation and his last chance at stardom, he is forced to travel to his ancestral home in the mountains of Uttarakhand to ask his estranged family for help. However the journey turns into an adventure with Bhuppi rekindling old relationships and making new friends in the process. Pushtaini is a dramedy about a working class father and his son Bhuppi and how they navigate notions of masculinity & family dynamics.
About Vinod Rawat
Vinod Rawat is Mumbai based director-writer-actor. Vinod co-directed the International Emmy Awards nominated series Aarya with Ram Madhvani. He also wrote and directed an award-winning short film MAD and associated with acclaimed films like Neerja, Titli His debut feature as a writer-director-actor Pushtaini is making its World premiere at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023. Pushtaini was part of 2022 NFDC Film Bazaar’s 20 Recommended Films. Vinod grew up between a working class neighbourhood in Delhi and his ancestral village in the mountains of Uttarakhand. After graduating from Film & Television Institute (FTII), he has steadily worked in the industry as a casting director, actor, director and writer. Vinod is known in the industry as one of the leading acting coaches and has coached stars like Hrithik Roshan among others. He was a casting director and acting coach on Titli which premiered in Un Certain Regard in the Cannes Film Festival.
About Lotus Dust Pictures
Lotus Dust Pictures was set up with an intention to create stories from the Indian subcontinent with universal themes and resonance. Ancestral/Pushtaini is the company’s first feature film. Lotus Dust is now branching into other forms and genres building a repository of short films, features and OTT content.