The 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on May 19. One of the most popular events in the cinematic world, it brought together the best of glamour and cinema at the French Riveria. From stunning appearances of red carpet regulars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor to Nandita Das showcasing her film Manto on an international platform, a lot happened for the Indian diaspora during the last twelve days.
This year the purpose of the Indian delegation was to showcase diversity of Indian films while furthering collaborations with various other countries. A large number of independent filmmakers looked for a perfect market for their piece of art this year as they did a market screening of their productions, which also gave them an opportunity to interact with potential buyers from around the world. However, the appearance of big Bollywood names on the runway was still the highlight of the most celebrated event of the year.
Now that the curtains have come down, we give you a brief account of Indian films and celebrities at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Screening of movies
The makers of many regional films were given an opportunity to take their films to the prestigious film festival. Among the films which were screened at the India Pavilion of 71st Cannes Film Festival were Nandita Das’ Manto, Dhanush’s English-French language film The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, Assamese film Village Rockstars, Malayalam film Bhayanakam, Bengali movie Nagarkirtan and Sinjar, a film from Lakshadweep made in the Jasari language, among others.
Reception of Indian movies at Cannes Film Festival 2018
Manto: Nandita Das’ Manto starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role opened to positive reviews from audience and movie critics alike. Screen Daily’s movie critic Wendy Ide in the review of the film wrote, “Nandita Das has assembled a first-rate crew, with Rita Ghosh’s atmospheric production design a particular stand out. The contrast between the well-appointed privilege of life among Mumbai’s literary elite and the blighted, scarred streets of Lahore is stark. It mirrors the change in Manto’s increasingly embattled state of mind. Always impressive, Siddiqui is as commanding presence as Manto.”
Kia and the Cosmos: A film by a Kolkata based filmmaker Sudipto Roy got rave reviews from critics. He took the film to the Cannes without any backing from the government. Kia and the Cosmos is a story of an autistic girl Kia and her investigation into the murder of her cat Cosmos. During the investigation, Kia also comes across harsh facts of her life. “I loved the colours of the frames, the set design, the acting. The story was very relatable and will be great to watch when the entire post-production will be done. I knew Indians make films which have song and dances, but this film is very different and I would like to know where these films end up. It has a very good future in the festivals,” said Arthur Reinhart, a Polish cinematographer and producer.
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir: Dhanush took his international project The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir to the international film festival. The actor unveiled the poster of the film there. The film is an English and French comedy-adventure film. It is based on a novel by Romain Puertolas titled The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe. Dhanush made his debut at the red carpet of Cannes with this film.
— Dhanush (@dhanushkraja) May 15, 2018
Sir: Gera’s Sir made it to competition sections in the Cannes Critics’ Week sidebar. It got positive response from movie critics. Hollywood Reporter’s review of Sir said, “Gera has nonetheless crafted a warmly nuanced look at love in a place filled with constraints and contradictions”. Sir features Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber and Geetanjali Kulkarni in lead roles and revolves around Ratna, who works as domestic live-in help with Ashwin, a man from a wealthy family.
Apart from this, there were some important announcements that were made at the international platform. The first look poster of award-winning director Rahat Kazmi’s feature film based on Ismat Chugtai’s most celebrated and most controversial story Lihaaf (The Quilt) was launched at India Pavilion on May 12. Vivek Agnihotri screened 15 minutes of his upcoming investigative thriller The Tashkent Files at the Cannes Film Festival. The first look was presented to Colin Burrows, CEO, Special Treats Productions and Prasoon Joshi, CBFC Chairman, at Cannes Film Festival. The film which stars Shweta Basu and veteran actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty is based on the mysterious death of the second prime minister of India Lal Bahadur Shashtri.
Veteran producer-director Subhash Ghai announced that his banner Mukta Arts will co-produce a biopic about the controversial Indian guru Osho in collaboration with Rome-based Navala Productions.
Red Carpet Appearances
Starting from Kangana Ranaut, the red carpet of Cannes Film Festival witnessed Indian beauty as Deepika Padukone, Mallika Sherawat, Huma Qureshi, Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor made an appearance in their handpicked ensembles. Pakistani beauty Mahira Khan also made her debut at the red carpet of Cannes this year. She was there as the face of cosmetic brand L’oreal from Pakistan.
Here are all the photos from the red carpet of Cannes Film Festival 2018
Lastly, the late actor Sridevi was honoured with the TITAN Reginald F Lewis Film Icon Award at the Cannes Film Festival. The award traditionally celebrates women of the film industry all over the world and also salute the multi-cultural impact on the world of cinema. It was collected by Subhash Ghai on behalf of the Kapoors. “Janhvi, Khushi and I are overwhelmed with the recognition and tributes and love of millions of her fans being showered on her. Her work and life has touched so many hearts across the world and she has been an inspiration to millions. She will live forever, thanks to her body of work,” Boney Kapoor said in a statement.