Neecha Nagar (1946)Filmmaker Chetan Anand's debut film was a landmark as it became the first Indian film to gain international recognition, after it shared the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first ever Cannes Film Festival.
Several big names from Indian cinema have been associated with the festival. But the fact is that only one film so far has won the prestigious Palm D'Or. Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar won it in 1946. Read on for all there's to know about India story at Cannes.
1946 -- Indian cinema enters Cannes. Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prix jointly with English director David Lean’s Brief Encounters in the inaugural edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
1950 -- Chetan Anand, Dev Anand’s eldest brother, invited to be a member of the jury which he politely refused, saying that he did “not qualify to be part of such an enlightened panel.”
1956 – Satyajit Ray's first film, Pather Panchali, won a whooping eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at the Cannes.
1960 – Ray’s Devi nominated for the Golden Palm award. Legendary director Ingmar Bergman is believed to have asked Ray about its heroine Sharmila Tagore as her eyes haunted Bergman even in his dreams.
1961 – Ismail Merchant formed a lifelong professional and personal partnership with American director James Ivory after they met at the 1961 Cannes festival.
1976 -- Shyam Benegal’s Nishant nominated for Palm D'Or.
1981 – Mani Kaul’s 1980 film, Satah se Uthata Aadmi screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival.
1982 – Mrinal Sen invited to be part of the international jury; Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Elippathayam presented in Un Certain Regard section at the festival
1983 – Mrinal Sen’s Kharij nominated for Golden Palm; won Jury Prize
1988 – Mira Nair’s debut film, Salaam Bombay won the golden Camera award; Goutam Ghose’s Antarjali Yatra screened in the Un Certain Regard section.
1989 -- Malayalam director Shaji N. Karun’s debut film Piravi, won Caméra d’Or-Mention Specialé award.
1990 – Mira Nair invited to be part of the international jury
1992 - Howards End, a Merchant-Ivory production won the Cannes’ 45th anniversary prize
1997 -- Goutam Ghose’s Gudia screened in Un Certain Regard section.
2000 – Writer-activist Arundhati Roy is part of the prestigious 10-member jury at the 53rd Cannes International Film Festival.
2002 -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali's reinterpretation of the classic Indian romance, Devdas, selected for screening at the non-competition section of the Cannes film festival making it the first commercial Hindi film to bag this honour.
2003 – Aishwarya Rai part of international jury; Murali Nair’s Arimpara screened at Cannes.
2008 –Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya, the film on painter Raja Ravi Verma, showed at the Cannes.
2009 -- Sharmila Tagore named as one of the members of the international jury; Rituparno Ghosh's Shob Choritro Kalponik and Abohoman and Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Janala showcased at the festival; thespian Mrinal Sen had to cancel his own retrospective of his Kolkata Trilogy at Cannes this year as the prints of Calcutta 71, Padatik and Interview were in poor condition.
2010- Director Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen, Elizabeth) part of the Cannes jury; Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan screened at the festival; Mrinal Sen’s Kandahar shown, after restoration, in the 'Cannes Classic' section .
2011 – Actor Paoli Dam walked the red carpet for her film Chatrak.
2012 -- Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely and Vasan Bala's The Peddlers grabs attention at Cannes; actor Mamata Shankar, who had acted in Mrinal Sen’s award winning film Kharij was at Cannes for the screening of Kalpana (1948), directed by her famous father, dancer Uday Shankar.
2013 -- It will open with Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby which has Amitabh Bachchan in a cameo. Dirty Picture star Vidya Balan joins ‘Life of Pi’ director Ang Lee at the jury, which will be headed by Hollywood’s Steven Spielberg; Actor-director Nandita Das is part of a separate jury for short films.
(Compiled by Paramita Ghosh)