A children’s theatre production on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi in a housing society in Pune: this is the setting of Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari’s Marathi film Dhappa. The teaser, released on Thursday, begins with a teacher briefing a group of children about this year’s play. “A play called The Trees Run Away,” she says, going on to list the characters in the production, including trees that can walk, a monkey that talks, a fairy, Sant Tukaram and Jesus Christ.
All goes well until a group of men attack the workshop, taking umbrage at the play’s secular content. “During Ganesh Utsav, only Ganpati,” says one goon. The film stars Shrihari Abhyankar, Deepali Borkar, Akash Kamble, Sharavi Kulkarni and Sharav Wadhawekar.
Bankrolled by Sumatilal Shah, Dhappa has been written by Dharmadhikari based on a story by actor Girish Pandurang Kulkarni. It won the National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration this year. Dhappa will be released theatrically on November 23.