Ramin Bahrani talks about the White Tiger


White Tiger by Ramin Bahrani is an amazing film about social justice issues, well thought and well made by powerful performances and another missed opportunity for the Academy awards for recognizing a masterpiece. I found the White Tiger a mush stronger and honest film than Parasite that was also trying to address the same subject and for sure far better than Minari, a melodrama that has six Oscar nominations. Watch this brilliant film on Netflix.
Bijan Tehrani

We had the opportunity of talking to Ramiin Bahrani in a ZOOM interview about making of the White Tiger:

Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) narrates his epic and darkly humorous rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur in modern India.

Cunning and ambitious, our young hero jockeys his way into becoming a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra-Jonas), who have just returned from America. Society has trained Balram
to be one thing — a servant — so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters. But after a night of betrayal, he realizes the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves. On the verge of
losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master. Based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel.

Ramin Bahrani

Academy Award nominee Ramin Bahrani is the Iranian-American writer, director, and producer of The White Tiger, for which he has earned Oscar®, BAFTA®, and WGA Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. Based on the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Aravind Adiga, the critically acclaimed Netflix feature film stars BAFTA nominee Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, and Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, and is executive produced by Chopra and Ava DuVernay.

Bahrani is the internationally renowned, award-winning writer/director/producer of critically lauded films such as Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo, At Any Price, and 99 Homes. Early in his career, legendary film critic Roger Ebert proclaimed Bahrani as “the director of the decade” in 2010. All of his previous feature and short films have made their world premieres at the Venice International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, garnering wins such as Venice’s FIPRESCI Prize for Goodbye Solo, the London Film Festival’s FIPRESCI Prize for Man Push Cart, the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival for 99 Homes, and Film Independent’s “Someone to Watch” Spirit Award for Chop Shop; as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Michael Shannon (99 Homes). Bahrani is a Guggenheim Fellowship winner, has been the subject of retrospectives around the world, and his cinematic oeuvre is housed in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

For television, Bahrani’s HBO film, Fahrenheit 451, staring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon, was nominated for five Emmys, including Best TV Movie, and earned a PGA award for best television film.  For short films, Bahrani’s Plastic Bag (2009) (featuring the voice of Werner Herzog as a plastic bag), was the opening night film of the shorts section at Venice, and later screened at the New York Film Festival. It repeatedly has been called one of the greatest short films of all time. His most recent short documentary, Blood Kin, premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival where he also served as President of the Debut Film Jury. His first short documentary, Lift You Up, was made with the Mandela Foundation and premiered at the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals in 2014.

Most recently, Bahrani produced Alex Camilleri’s debut feature Luzzu, the first locally produced film from Malta, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for actor Jesmark Scicluna. He also produced Alexandre Moratto’s Brazilian debut feature, Socrates, which won a dozen international prizes and garnered three Spirit Award nominations in 2019.

Currently, Bahrani is directing and executive producing the limited series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, based on the acclaimed novel by best-selling author Walter Mosley, and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Dominique Fishback for Apple TV+. He is also producing Moratto’s new untitled film starring Rodrigo Santoro, and will direct, write and produce the feature adaptation of Adiga’s latest novel, Amnesty, for Netflix.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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