Can India ever at the Cannes?

Sanjay Suri with Sydney’s Raj Suri at the premiere of ‘I Am’ in India

India is making its presence felt at the 65th Cannes Film Festival opening with three films, despite continuing to be a no show in the competition section.

For several years, Indian short films and student films had been the saving grace in an overall bleak representation in the official sections at Cannes.

This year, however, the short   film competition jury headed by Belgian director Jean-Pierre-Dardenne will not find an Indian title among the 10   films listed for the Short Film Competition section and the 15 films selected for the Cine’Fondation section.

However, all is not lost. Ashim Ahluwalia’s film ”˜Miss Lovely’ that focuses on the making of B grade movies in Indian cinema   has been selected for screening in the ”˜Un Certain Regard’ along with 16 other titles.

Introducing the film, Mr Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s artistic director said, “There is something special in the Indian Cinema. In Cannes we have both Bollywood and the opposite auteur cinema of Satyajit Ray. The selected movie is an auteur movie, at the same time it is like Mean Street meets Boogy Nights.”

Outside the “official selection”, Anurag   Kashyap’s “Ganga of Wasseypur” has made it to the Director’s Fortnight Section. This is a parallel section organized by the French Filmmakers Society. Another film made under his banner, “Peddlers”, directed by Vasan Bala, is being showcased in the Critics Week Section.

The festival will also witness the world premiere of Uday Shankar’s “Kalpana” (1948) in the Cannes Classic section after its restoration.

Besides the films actors from Bollywood who will walk the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival are Sonal Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, his wife Mehr Jessia, Freida Pinto.

Sonam Kapoor

This year will see actor Arjun Rampal making his debut on the red carpet at Cannes, with wife Mehr for company. Arjun, who represents a liquor brand, will be attending the festival as its Indian face.

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, a Cannes regular, will represent the cosmetic brand   she endorses on May 24 and 25. The actor will attend the amfAR (The American Foundation for AIDS Research) dinner and after-party on May 24.   A fund-raising event in the fight against AIDS, the cosmetic brand is a presenting sponsor for amfAR.

Sydney’s Anupam Sharma is at the Cannes trying to pitch selling a film based on honour killing in India and he said to TIDU before leaving that Australian actress Toni Collette had agreed to act in the movie which will be partly shot in India and partly in Australia and directed by Australian director Bill Bennett. Raj Suri of Miss India Australia is also at Cannes with his brother Sanjay Suri and Onir’s film ”˜I Am’ which won the National Award for the Best Hindi Film.

India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari presenting the award to Sanjay Suri

Next year India will celebrate 100 years of its cinema at Cannes. It will present an opportunity to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indian cinema by presenting a package that showcases the originality, uniqueness, force and appeal of our cinema.


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