Iconic Bollywood actor Mac Mohan, who reigned hearts with his role Sambha in Ramesh Sippy’s film Sholay, is still remembered for his roles on the silver screen. Now, his daughters Manjari and Vinati Makijany are all set to make their debut in Bollywood with a feature film on skateboarding titled Desert Dolphin. Manjari and Vinati are excited about making an entry in the Bollywood as writer-director and co-writer-director respectively.
The film is set in a remote village in Rajasthan and revolves around Prerna, who finds the courage to skate fighting all odds when she meets Jessica, a graphic artist from Los Angeles who is looking for deeper joy in life.
Manjari said in a statement, “Living in Los Angeles, I was exposed to the skate culture and skaters all the time but when I stumbled upon a video online and watched how a small village in Madhya Pradesh was transformed through skateboarding, I sat up and took notice.”
She further said, “Upon further research and meeting the skaters from there, I realised the concept was inspired by Skateistan in Afghanistan. This led me to dig deeper and I began my research process in September 2016. I immersed myself in studying the correlation between skating and social change.”
Vinati talked about the research process and said, “Keeping in mind that this was India’s first film based on skateboarding, the idea was to involve as many real skateboarders as we can. During the auditioning process, we reached out to the skateboarding communities in India. I travelled to Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, villages in Rajasthan and Mumbai and spent a few days on workshop with over 3,000 kids. Personally, it was important for us to workshop with the local kids from the village and involve them in the film.”
Producer Emmanual Pappas said, “At the time, India didn’t have a skatepark of the calibre we had envisioned and so we set out to build India’s largest and most advanced skatepark. It’s also rare for a film to leave behind a permanent structure and actually use it to bring about social change in the lives of the local community. With this initiative, we hope to impact the lives of over 5,000 children residing in and around the surrounding villages by introducing them to skateboarding.a.”
Manjari has worked for 12 years in the industry and directed three short films. She has worked with filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins and Vishal Bharadwaj. She assisted them on films Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Rises, Wonder Woman and the fourth instalment of Mission Impossible. She has also worked on Bollywood films such as Saat Khoon Maaf and Wake Up Sid.