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Film Series Explores Social Divides

The Oklahoma City University Film Institute will continue its 32nd season with Rajnesh Domalpalli’s “Vanaja” at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Meinders School of Business Kerr McGee Auditorium. The business school is located at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Admission to all films in the series is free. It is supported in part by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund and endowments through OCU and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Set in rural south India, a place where social barriers are said to be built stronger than fort walls, “Vanaja” explores the chasm that divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age.Only 14 years old, she goes to work in the house of a local landlady in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance.

“Vanaja” is Domalpalli’s first feature film and was his thesis at Columbia University. The film won 32 international awards including Best First Feature at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival.

This year’s OCU Film Institute season is titled “Identity in Diversity: Religious Pluralism.” It is based on Eboo Patel’s book “Acts of Faith.” Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, gave a presentation in October for OCU’s Distinguished Speakers Series.

A discussion session follows each film screening for those who wish to participate.

For more information, contact Harbour Winn, OCU Film Institute director, at (405) 208-5472 or e-mail

The series season will conclude March 9 with Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies.”