Bollywood heads to Cannes

Last year it was Aishwarya Rai, Mallika Sherawat, Shah Rukh Khan, Sonali Kulkarni and a host of other stars who had made their presence felt at the Cannes Film Festival.

This year it is going to be Preity Zinta and Karan Johar promoting their film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Vishal Bharadwaj and his team of Issak stars including Ajay Devgan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Saif Ali Khan and Viveik Oberoi will also be a part of the festival this year. Kareena Kapoor was going to be part of the festival, but cancelled due to prior commitments.

Three Indian film-makers have so far been selected to take part in the Cannes film festival (which takes place from 17 – 28 May) namely director Dev Benegal, producer Sunil Doshi and Anirban Datta – a student of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata). Datta’s diploma film Tetris (33) has been selected by the Cine foundation section for film school entries. Benegal will make a presentation on his forthcoming film Road Movie in the festival’s Atelier (Studio) section. Producer Sunil Doshi will present his film Mixed Doubles directed by Rajat Kapoor at the Pavillon du Sud, which supports films from southern continents.

To enable Indian filmmakers like Ronnie Screwvala, Bobby Bedi, Ravi Chopra, Boney Kapoor, Sudhir Mishra and Suneel Darshan to interact with the international film celebrities the Film and Television producers Guild of India (FTPGI) has decided to host a reception on May 19 at a fancy Beach resort on the Croisette. ADLABS is going to run a lounge for Indian Film Makers to meet their business guests.

“The guild has been participating in the Cannes Film Festival for the last 40 years but this year we are taking it a step further. The reception will cash in on the growing interest in Indian Cinema World wide. Besides the official selection Cannes is the biggest marketplace for buying and selling films. Most Indian films are screened as a part of Market Screenings. Since there are more corporates there is a renewed thrust on marketing our films abroad. Hence the increased presence of Indians in Cannes,” says Amit Khanna, President, FTPGI.

Some of the films to be screened at the Festival are Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta, Rakyesh Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, Jag Mohan Mundhra’s Provoked, Sudipto Sen’s The Last Monk, Rajat Kapoor’s Mixed Doubles, Santosh Sivan’s Navarasa, Salman Khan starrer Marigold and others films like Ali Larter, Omkara and Soumitra Ranade’s Friends Forever.

“There is no Indian Film in the Competition Section or the Director’s fortnight,” says Khanna.

Media Factory India (MFI) will unveil India’s first 3-D character animated children’s film Magik and visitors can interact with MFI CEO Aashish Chanana, who is a trained animator and director-actor. Yet another Indian filmmaker Gitanjali Rao will be the first Indian animation film-maker to go to Cannes with her film Printed Rainbow. Rao’s film has been selected in the short film category in the critics’ section at this year’s festival.