The Disciple

Director: Chaitanya Tamhane
Country: India

German Premiere
2020 | 130 min. | Marathi, Hindi, English, Bengali
Subtitles: German, English
FSK 18

Cast_ Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave Screenplay_ Chaitanya Tamhane Camera_ Michał Sobociński P.s.C. Producer_ Vivek Gomber Rights_ New Europe Film Sales

The Disciple dives deep into Indian singing tradition. At first, it’s the apprentice’s ambition that drives the film, but then he discovers a horizon beyond success.

Sharad (Aditya Modak) doesn’t want a real job. His life, his thoughts and his feelings revolve around classical Indian music. The music reflects his everyday life: both are marked by rigid rituals and improvisation. Over the years, Sharad comes to realise the importance of personal improvisation, because tradition expects one to remain an apprentice for a very long time, something that is ever more difficult to sustain in a world where casting shows produce success in no time at all. In his second feature film, director Chaitanya Tamhane celebrates life as a slow process of gaining different perspectives: on oneself, on one's surroundings, and on tradition. Told with epic means and offering extraordinary snippets of life, a masterly and surprising film.

Winner of the award for best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival 2020.


Chaitanya Tamhane, born in 1987, is a filmmaker from Mumbai. His feature-length directorial debut, Court (2014), was India’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards and received prizes at the Venice, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Singapore film festivals. Among other accolades, The Disciple won the 2020 FIPRESCI prize in Venice.