In a year when film festivals across the globe have been cancelled, scaled down or indefinitely postponed, there’s finally some good news for the Indian film community.

Court director Chaitanya Tamhane’s second film, The Disciple, has been selected in the Competition section of the upcoming Venice Film Festival (Sept 2-12) – the first major international film festival to occur physically on the circuit since the beginning of the pandemic. Tamhane’s 127-minute long feature stars Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, and Kiran Yadnyopavit, and has been produced by Vivek Gomber through his company, Zoo Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. His will be the first Indian film in the main competition section at Venice since Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding won the Golden Lion back in 2001.

Tamhane famously won the Best Film (Orizzonti) and Lion of the Future award for Court at Venice in 2014. Court, a wry commentary on India’s judicial system, also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and was India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film at the 2016 Oscars.

Soni director Ivan Ayr’s next, Meel Patthar (Milestone), starring Suvinder Vicky and Lakshvir Saran, has also been selected in the Horizons category. Soni had premiered in the Horizons section, too, two years ago.

Hollywood star Cate Blanchett is the president of the main competition jury this year.