Dharamshala international film festival 2 - 5 nov 2017


Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni
India | 2015 | 137 mins | Marathi | Director Attending



Highway is the kaleidoscopic tale of passengers travelling along the Mumbai to Pune expressway in an assortment of shared taxis, buses and trucks. In the opening half hour we meet no less than 35 characters from diverse social backgrounds, who speak a mixture of Marathi, English and Hindi—including a TV star, an adulterous husband, a socialite, a rent boy, a band of Telugu villagers, a political goon and a non-resident Indian. The camera rests mainly inside the vehicles, picking up a line or two from each character before moving on to the next, gradually building pictures of their lives, conflicts and preoccupations. In the film’s second half, an unexpected gridlock on the highway’s ghat section brings the passengers out of their vehicles to intermingle on the road and take stock of their lives.


  • Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

    Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

    Born in 1976, Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni studied at the Film and Television Institute of India in his home city of Pune. Umesh’s diploma film, Girni (2005), won the institute’s award for Best Short Film. He went on to direct the features Valu (2008), Vihir (2009) and Deool (2011), which showed at DIFF 2012. Umesh has curated DIFF’s Indian Short Films programme since 2013.  Commenting on the inspiration behind Highway, he says, “I used to travel between Pune and Mumbai. Most of the time I would take a shared cab. At the start of the journey you are with strangers. By the end you realise you know exactly what is happening in their lives. There is a Sanskrit shloka [line of verse]—Yatha kashtham cha kashtham. It talks of how two logs meet and depart. I always thought of it whenever I travelled.”


16th New York Film Festival Awards 2016: Best Director and Best Film awards
Pune International Film Festival 2016