Set in the ancient city of Varanasi, Masaan which means crematorium, is a film about resilience and vulnerability, creation and destruction. Written by Varun Grover and wonderfully captured by cinematographer Avinash Arun Dhaware, the film follows four characters whose lives intersect at the banks of the Ganges.
Richa Chadda plays Devi Pathak, bold and brave, is caught in a sex scandal. Sanjai Mishra essays the role of her father - a retired Sanskrit teacher, Vidyadhar Pathak. Vicky Kaushal, who made his debut in the film, plays Deepak, a lower caste boy who works at a crematorium. He falls hopelessly in love with a more affluent girl, Shweta Tripathi.
The film was first screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section and the 'Promising Future' prize (Prix de l'avenir). This honour has been previously bestowed on filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Woody Allen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jafar Panahi, Jean-Luc Godard and Roman Polanski. Ghaywan also won the National Award for Best Debut Film of a Director in 2016.
Masaan was a French-Indian co-production jointly produced by Drishyam Films, Macassar Productions, Sikhya Entertainment, Phantom Films, Arte France Cinema and Pathé Productions.