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Ash on the beach and more...

Read on for more action at the ongoing Cannes International Film Festival.

bollywood Updated: May 15, 2011 01:30 IST
Anupama Chopra

The French run the Cannes International Film Festival with military precision. Each contingency has been thought of and someone has been delegated to take care of it.

Every celebrity walking the red carpet has a minder. So on Day 1, we were told that we could interview Saif Ali Khan (who walked the red carpet as the brand ambassador for Chivas Regal) all the way from his hotel room to the car. One of us could sit in the car and drive with him to the Palais. When celebrities walk down the carpet, a smiling minder in a tuxedo stands behind and discreetly tells them which way they should look so that photographers on both side of the carpet get enough pictures.

In comparison, the red carpet at the International Film Festival of India in Goa is a joke. Last year, 3 Idiots played at the festival and my husband Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raju Hirani were asked to walk the carpet. When it was our turn, the presenter, with full force and volume announced the arrival of Vinod Chopra, Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. Except that Abhijat wasn’t there — I was walking in with them. But the presenter just did his job and I walked down the carpet sheepishly avoiding the somewhat puzzled gaze of the

In Cannes, there is little room for error. The festival is a tightrope act of balancing movies, egos, creative temperaments and over 4,000 journalists. The organisers do this by using both charm and bullying. The security men at the Palais, all dressed in identical beige suits, are so grim that they made people cry. In fact the entire town seems overrun by hulking men in suits whose job it is to protect the stars from the hundreds of fans. At the bigger hotels, people park themselves at the gate for hours, hoping for a glimpse.

Heroine unveiled
Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, together with filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and UTV head Ronnie Screwvala launched the first look of their upcoming flick Heroine by the beach side at Cannes on Friday. Revolving around the life of an Bollywood diva, the movie has been written with Aishwarya in mind. “It's not a biography, and it's not an autobiography for sure," said Ash. Touted as Bhandarkar’s magnum opus, Heroine goes on floors next month.

Kung Fu Panda 2
Actors Angelina Jolie and Jack Black, get clicked with the lead of their upcoming movie Kung Fu Panda 2, which sees Po, the bear with unexpected martial arts talent voiced by Black, seeking inner peace alongside tigress Angelina Jolie. Po has now become a Dragon Warrior, who must protect the Valley of Peace, alongside Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the Furious Five.

Night queen
Emily Browning got a lot of exposure during the screening of Sleeping Beauty at Cannes. The 22-year-old Australian actor stars in the dark modern-day fairy tale as a student who takes a night job as the slumbering object of older men’s erotic fascination. “I hope it has a strong impact on the audience one way or the other,” she said.