Madonna launches Malawi documentary at Cannes

CANNES: Pop icon Madonna was at the Cannes Film Festival on 22 May to launch her Malawi documentary on AIDS awareness called – I Am Because We Are.

Madonna met a select group of media from across the world and addressed queries regarding her new documentary.

The documentary was also screened at the festival. I Am Because We Are is directed by Nathan Rissman and has been written and produced by Madonna.

When queried by as to whether there were any plans to take the documentary to Indian screens, Madonna said, "I would love to take it to India and would be more than happy if we could work things out so that the documentary reaches as many people as possible."

I Am Because We Are focuses on the hard life in Malawi particularly on children orphaned by AIDS.

The movie also touches on Madonna’s adoption of a baby boy, David Banda, whose mother died due to AIDS.

Madonna also spoke on the problems she and her husband Guy Ritchie faced to adopt David. "It was painful and a big struggle and I didn’t understand it. But I then rationalised that when a woman has a child and goes through natural childbirth she suffers an enormous amount. I went through my own kind of birthing pains while adopting David. Dealing with the press on my doorstep, accusing me of kidnapping or whatever was very painful," she lamented.

Madonna will also be working with Rissman on their next film, which revolved around the Israel-Palestine conflict.

A high-profile auction was also held later in the day to raise money for AIDS research where Madonna parted with some personal possessions like a custom-made white guitar and the contents of her handbag, which included a magnifying mirror, skin blotting tissues, lip gloss and hair clips. Along with that she also auctioned a diamond-encrusted alligator bag donated by Chanel. Her possessions sold for $472,000.

The benefit on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival raised more than $10 million for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

The auction was also attended by Mary J. Blige, Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, George Clooney, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Roberto Cavalli, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Yeoh. Sharon Stone was the auctioneer.