Some time ago, we had mentioned that veteran actress Sharmila Tagore is all set to make her debut in Marathi films. Not much was known about the film then, except for the fact that it was to be directed by noted actor-director Amol Palekar. Now the cat's out of the bag. Sharmila's first Marathi film will be Samaantar. The film has been written and co-directed by Sandhya Gokhale along with veteran actor-director Amol Palekar. With this film, Big Pictures (a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company) makes its entry into the Marathi film industry. Also, Amol Palekar himself will be making his acting comeback after nearly two decades. Apart from the duo, the film also stars Makarand Deshpande, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Kishor Kadam, Aishwarya Narkar and Radhika Apte in prominent roles. The film has been shot in Pune and Kolkata. Commenting on his film Samaantar being acquired by Big Pictures, Amol Palekar said, "I feel fortunate with Big Pictures acquiring Samaantar, the film will be promoted and released in a deserving manner." The actor is also excited about making his acting comeback after 22 years. "After Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Khamosh in 1996, I stopped acting because it did not interest me. I found Keshav's role in Samaantar exciting. Directing a film and also acting in it is strenuous. But Sandhya, my co-director, made it easier." As for Sharmila, this would be her first tryst with Marathi cinema. "I was quite apprehensive about speaking Marathi dialogues, but Amol relaxed me all through. I enjoyed performing every scene", said the veteran actress. Sandhya Gokhale added further, "Samaantar reveals lost traces of two persons' impeccable love. Sharmilaji has played a potter's role while Amolji's character is of an industrialist, a slice of whose frozen past gets scratched accidentally. Their performances are brilliant." Commenting on Big Pictures entry into Marathi films, Rajesh Sawhney, President, Reliance Big Entertainment said, "Cinema speaks a global language; a good film holds no language barrier. We are producing regional films in several languages. Considering the contribution of Marathi cinema, its exceptional performers and the audience response, we felt compelled to be a part of the Marathi film industry. We are proud to bring to audiences Samaantar, directed by legendary Amol Palekar, coupled with exceptional performances, great music and a heart wrenching story." With such big names getting together, even Marathi cinema seems to be coming of age.
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