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THE announcement of the Festival de Cannes’ official selection on Thursday shows that India will continue its run this year too. Titli, directed by debutant Kanu Behl and produced by Dibakar Banerjee and Yash Raj Films, has made it to the Un Certain Regard (A Certain Look) section of Festival de Cannes, which will be held between May 14 and 25. This is Yash Raj Film’s second project at Cannes this year — their Grace of Monaco will open the festival. Titli has actor Ranvir Shorey in a key role alongside Amit Sial and debutant Shashank Arora plays the title role.
Titli — named after the lead character — is set in Delhi’s underbelly and tells the story of a young member of a car-jacking gang, as he attempts to escape the business. Run by members of his family, he finds opposition in his brothers. The film speaks about how an individual may find it impossible to escape his or her roots. “I grew up in Delhi and know the city intimately, so the story takes root in my experiences. The film is set in east Delhi’s Patparganj area and thereabouts although we shot in west Delhi,” says Behl, who is currently wrapping up the post-production of the film before leaving for Cannes next month.
Titli, which was part of the Screenwriters’ Lab in 2012, also won an award for the Best Work-in-Progress Lab Project at NFDC Film Bazaar last year. Behl has assisted Banerjee on Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and was the co-writer with him on Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
Ever since Udaan’s official selection in the Un Certain Regard category in 2010, India has had a steady run at the festival, held by the French Riviera. In 2012, Miss Lovely was in the same category. Other films, such as Gangs of Wasseypur, Peddlers and The Lunchbox have also been showcased at the festival in the past.