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Hellaro film poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed byAbhishek Shah
Screenplay byAbhishek Shah
Prateek Gupta
Saumya Joshi
(Dialogues & Lyrics)
Story byAbhishek Shah
Produced byAshish Patel
Nirav Patel
Aayush Patel
Abhishek Shah
Mit Jani
Prateek Gupta
CinematographyTribhuvan Babu Sadineni
Edited byPrateek Gupta
Music byMehul Surti
Harfanmaula Films
Release date
  • 8 November 2019 (2019-11-08)
Running time
121 minutes
Budgetest.2.5 crore (US$310,000)
Box office16 crore (US$2.0 million)[1]

Hellaro (transl. The Outburst) is a 2019 Indian Gujarati period drama film co-written and directed by Abhishek Shah and produced by Ashish Patel, Nirav Patel, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta, Mit Jani and Abhishek Shah under the banner of Saarthi Productions and Harfanmaula films. The film having ensemble cast of Jayesh More, Shraddha Dangar, Brinda Trivedi Nayak, Shachi Joshi, Niilam Paanchal, Tejal Panchasara and Kausambi Bhatt, marks the directorial debut of Abhishek Shah. The film revolves around a group of women living in the Rann of Kutch in the 1970s.

Hellaro won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film at the 66th National Film Awards.[2] It was officially selected as the opening film at Indian Panorama, at 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).[3] It was also nominated for the best debut feature film of a director at the film festival.[4][5] The film was released in theatres in India on 8 November 2019 to positive reviews.


In 1975, a young girl named Manjhri is married off to a small village in the middle of nowhere in the Rann of Kutch. There is no rain in the village since many years. The villagers believe it is a curse of the goddess because of a widow rup who was an embroider and tried to earn money and escaped with another villager. As an apology the men present a Gujarati folkdance garba to impress the goddess, but the women are not allowed to play garba. Every morning the women of the village go to a distant lake to fetch water, this is the only time when they are not suppressed but free. One day they come across an unconscious drummer and help him. In return, he plays his dhol and the women play garba for the first time. Since then, every day they fetch water and play garba. After some time the women convince him to ask the mukhya of their village for shelter and play dhol for navrati. Every day he plays garba for the women at the day and for the men at night. One day the women are caught playing garba and are beaten as a punishment. On the same night the women play garba in the village and it rains.[6]


  • Shraddha Dangar as Manjhri
  • Jayesh More as Mulji, a drummer
  • Tejal Panchasara as Gomti
  • Shailesh Prajapati as Mukhi
  • Maulik Nayak as Bhaglo
  • Aarjav Trivedi as Arjan
  • Brinda Trivedi as Kesar
  • Tarjani Bhadla as Gauri
  • Niilam Paanchal as Leela
  • Kaushambi Bhatt as Champa
  • Swati Dave
  • Denisha Ghumra as Radha
  • Aakash Zala as Joraavar
  • Rajan Thakar
  • Kishan Gadhvi
  • Kamlesh Parmar
  • Sachi Joshi
  • Riddhi Yadav as Kanchan
  • Jagruti Thakore
  • Dhriti Patel as Reva
  • Kamini Panchal
  • Ekta Bachwani
  • Parva Bhatt[7]


The debut director and co-writer Abhishek Shah stated that the story was inspired from folklore of the Vrajvani village in Kutch and real-life instances of patriarchy.[8][9] Prateek Gupta co-wrote screenplay, edited, and co-produced the film while also serving as the Associate Director. Playwright and poet Saumya Joshi wrote lyrics, additional screenplay, and dialogues. Mehul Surti composed the music.[7] Ashish Patel, Nirav Patel, Aayush Patel, Abhishek Shah, Mit Jani, and Prateek Gupta produced the film under the banner of Saarthi Productions and Harfanmaula films. Aayush Patel and Mit Jani helmed as creative and executive producers.[10]

A set of village with fifteen Bhunga (traditional houses), a town square and a temple was created in Rann of Kutch near Kuran village where the film was shot.[11]


Soundtrack album by
Released18 October 2019 (2019-10-18)[12]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSaarthi Productions LLP
External audio
audio icon Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube

All lyrics are written by Saumya Joshi; all music is composed by Mehul Surti.

Track listing
1."Asvaar"Aishwarya Majmudar, Mooralala Marwada4:03
2."Haiyaa"Shruti Pathak, Aditya Gadhvi (Backing vocals)5:01
3."Sapna Vinani Raat"Aditya Gadhvi5:30
4."Vaagyo Re Dhol"Bhoomi Trivedi4:10
Total length:18:44


It was released in theatres on 8 November 2019.[6][7][13] The film was released on video on demand service, MX Player on 4 April 2020.[14]


Critical response[edit]

The film was universally acclaimed by the critics. Abhimanyu Joshi of The Times of India rated it 4 out of 5. He praised the film's direction, story, screenplay, acting, cinematography, music, and choreography, further stating that the film justly deserves the National Award it received and fulfills expectations.[15] Namrata Joshi writing for The Hindu praised the story, direction, production, and cinematography. She further added that the film "questions patriarchy while celebrating the colours and culture of Gujarat".[16] Jigar Ganatra of Mumbai Live called it "masterpiece" and rated 4.5 out of 5.[17] Parsi Times rated it 3.5 out of 5.[18] Delnaz Divecha writing for BookMyShow noted that the film's presentation of the subjects of patriarchy, casteism, and superstition connects the audience, and further praised the film's performances and choreography. She also pointed that "some customs may seem outdated but still happen to be the reality of many rural women".[19] Jinal Bhatt of Mashable India rated it 4.5 out of 5.[20]

Ramesh Tanna of Kutchmitra praised the film for its direction, acting, and cinematography, calling it a "must-watch" but criticised the false subject of opposition to garba and embroidery work, some characterisations, and the lack of Kutchi language in a film set in Kutch. He also questioned the relevance of the film's subject in contemporary times and pointed to the inaccurate representation of Kutch's local culture and the 1970s.[9]

Box office[edit]

The film had grossed over 15 crore (US$1.9 million) in the box office.[1][21] The film had grossed over $1,41,304 (₹1 crore) in overseas market.[22][23]


A police complaint under Atrocities Act was filed against the film's producer, director, and writer for use of term Harijan in the film's dialogue. According to the complaint Jamnaben Vegda, the term is considered derogatory by the Scheduled Caste people.[24]


Hellaro was selected as the opening film at the Indian Panorama during the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held in November 2019 in Goa,[25][20] where it won a special mention from jury for its "incredible music, colour and choreography."[26] It is also nominated for the best debut feature film of a director at the film festival.[4][5] It was also screened at the 19th River-to-River Florence Indian Film Festival held in Italy in December 2019. Apart from this Hellaro premiered at numerous Film Festivals like Dhaka International Film Festive 2020, International Film Festival of Bhuvneshwar 2020, and Aurangabad International Film Festival 2020.

Hellaro won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film at the 66th National Film Awards. The thirteen female actresses also won the Special Jury Award for their performances. It was the first Gujarati film to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.[6][7]

Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
66th National Film Awards[27] Best Feature Film Producer: Saarthi Productions LLP

Director: Abhishek Shah

Special Jury Award Shraddha Dangar, Shachi Joshi, Denisha Ghumra, Neelam Paanchal, Tarjani Bhadla, Brinda Nayak, Tejal Panchasara, Kaushambi Bhatt, Ekta Bachwani, Kamini Panchal, Jagruti Thakore, Riddhi Yadav, and Prapti Mehta Won [28]
FIPRESCI India Grand Prix 2019 Best Feature Film Hellaro Won
Critics Choice Film Awards 2020[29] Best Film (Gujarati) Hellaro Won
Best Actor (Gujarati) Jayesh More Won
Best Actress (Gujarati) Shraddha Dangar Nominated
Best Director (Gujarati) Abhishek Shah Won
Best Writing (Gujarati) Abhishek Shah, Prateek Gupta, Saumya Joshi Won
IFFI Goa 2019 Special Mention Hellaro Won
19th River to River Florence

Indian Film Festival, Italy

Audience Choice Best Film Hellaro Won
6th Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) Best Director

(Regional Film)

Abhishek Shah Won


  1. ^ a b "Film awards and rewards (Column: B-Town)". Outlook. IANS. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  2. ^ Scroll Staff (9 August 2019). "National Awards: Aditya Dhar gets best director for 'Uri', Gujarati movie 'Hellaro' wins Best Film". Scroll.in. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Gujarati film Hellaro to be IFFI Goa opening feature". mid-day. 7 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Indian films 'Hellaro', 'Uyare' to vie for Best Debut Feature Award at IFFI". 20 October 2019 – via Business Standard.
  5. ^ a b "Indian films 'Hellaro', 'Uyare' to vie for Best Debut Feature Award at IFFI". www.aninews.in.
  6. ^ a b c "Guj's 'Hellaro' is nation's best". Ahmedabad Mirror. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d "'Hellaro' 1st Gujarati film to win top national award". The Times of India. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  8. ^ "The importance of Garba in National Award-winning Gujarati film Hellaro". The Indian Express. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Ramesh Tanna". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  10. ^ Authors, Various (9 August 2020). "14 Reasons To Watch Regional Gujarati Movie "Hellaro"". Binge Watcher. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  11. ^ Singh, Suhani (14 August 2019). "How a little-known Gujarati movie won the best feature film award". India Today. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Hellaro". Saavn.
  13. ^ Singh, Suhani (14 August 2019). "How a little-known Gujarati movie won the best feature film award". India Today. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  14. ^ @hellarothefilm (4 April 2020). "BREAKING NEWS - The wait is over. HELLARO NOW STREAMING on MX PLAYER" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Hellaro Movie Review: Hellaro, a celluloid celebration of breaking free, retrieved 13 November 2019
  16. ^ Joshi, Namrata (12 November 2019). "'Hellaro' movie review: Of song and dance leading to flight and freedom". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Hellaro Movie Review: Hellaro is a 'masterpiece' from debutant director Abhishek Shah". Mumbai Live. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  18. ^ Katrak, Hoshang K. (9 November 2019). "Film Review: Hellaro". Parsi Times. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  19. ^ Divecha, Delnaz (9 November 2019). "[Review] Hellaro Beautifully Explores The Idea of Freedom Through Dance". BookMyShow. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  20. ^ a b Bhatt, Jinal (18 November 2019). "Hellaro Review: A Powerful Journey From Suppression To Expression, Stomping Patriarchy On The Way". Mashable India. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Hellaro Collections". in.bookmyshow.com. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Hellaro - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Hellaro". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  24. ^ "FIR against makers of national award film 'Hellaro'". The Hindu. PTI. 13 November 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 November 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  25. ^ "Regional Films 'Hellaro' & 'Nooreh' to open Indian Panorama at IFFI 2019". IFFI Goa. 6 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  26. ^ "IFFI 2019: Full list of winners; Particles wins Best Film, Lijo Jose Pellissery wins Best Director award". 29 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Gujarati film 'Hellaro' to be screened in Delhi". The Times of India. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  28. ^ "MOST ACTRESSES PERFORMED IN SINGLE MOVIE AND WON NATIONAL AWARDS: Complete winners list". 23 October 2020.
  29. ^ "Critics' Choice Film Awards 2020: Complete winners list". 28 March 2020.

External links[edit]