Netflix acquired the global rights to “Desert Dolphin,” a coming-of-age story of a teen girl in rural India, whose life changes when she learns to skateboard. Manjari Makijany will make her feature directorial debut with the project, working from a script by Manjari and Vinati Makijany.
The cast includes Rachel Saanchita Gupta and Shafin Patel, making their acting debut, alongside Amrit Maghera and legendary Indian actor Waheeda Rehman.
The logline reads, “Prerna, a teenager growing up in rural India, comes of age when she’s introduced to the sport of skateboarding. As a result, she has to fight the odds to follow her dreams and compete in the national championship.”
Desert Dolphin Skatepark, located in a remote cluster of rural villages in Khempur-Mavli district near Udaipur, was constructed for the film with the support of Indian and International skate volunteers. The skatepark remains free for public use with the aim of continuing the social impact such parks have on rural communities. It’s one of India’s largest skateparks, and Rajasthan’s first. The space is becoming a training ground for skaters from all over the country.
According to Netflix, the movie will release in 2022. “Desert Dolphin” joins Netflix’s growing slate of live-action family films featuring kids and teens, which includes recent releases “Feel the Beat,” directed by Elissa Down and starring Sofia Carson; WWE’s “The Main Event,” directed by Jay Karas starring Seth Carr; and the 2019 comedy “Tall Girl,” directed by Nzingha Stewart and starring Ava Michelle.
Netflix’s family-friendly lineup includes “The Sleepover,” directed by Trish Sie; “Finding Ohana,” directed by Jude Weng; “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” directed by Rachel Talalay, and “A Week Away” directed by Roman White.
Emmanuel Pappas, Vinati Makijany, and Manjari Makijany served as producers on “Desert Dolphin,” with Michael Pellico serving as executive producer.
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