Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (GOW) part 1 and part 2 will be showcased at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight at the 65th Cannes Film Festival that will be held from May 16-27. Works of masters like Werner Herzog and Martin Scorsese have earlier been screened in the same category.
And that’s not all, Anurag has a whole day dedicated to him at Cannes. Vikram Malhotra, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, says, “Wasseypur and Anurag have a day-long engagement planned at the fest. It is quite an honour that so much attention is being given to an Indian film. They will start the day by showing GOW 1. A Master Class by Anurag and interviews with world media will follow. The evening will end with the screening of GOW 2.”
Vikram hopes the Cannes announcement will add to the box-office figures of the films when they release in India.
When he heard the films had been selected, he tweeted, “Waiting at the Brussels airport in a silent zone, wanting to scream out loud, off to Copenhagen. I am very happy today (sic).” Elated, the director bought a cowboy hat, which he perhaps plans to wear on the red carpet. At Cannes, Anurag will join two of his proteges, Vasan Bala and actor Nawazuddin Siddique, who will be there with their films Peddlars and Miss Lovely respectively.
Excerpts from an interview.
Both parts of Gangs of Wasseypur are being showcased at Director's Fortnight at Cannes. It’s probably the only film since Kill Bill to have the privilege. How does it feel?
This is turning out to be a great year. With Paan Singh Tomar and Kahaani rocking the box office and now four Indian films selected to be showcased at Cannes, it is surreal. There is more to come this year with Shanghai, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Lootera, Aiyya and Ship of Thesius. This may become a game changing year that will empower us to make films where the plot is the real star.
How is Gangs of Wasseypur not like your usual off-beat films?
Wasseypur is a gangster- revenge drama spread over six decades and three generations. It is set in a small cinema-obsessed hub in Dhanbad. We shot the film in 100 days with a cast comprising over 340 people. I have co-written the film along with Syed Zeeshan Qadri who is also one of the actors in the film. It’s one of the quirkiest films I have ever made. It is set in a strange world of idiotic gangsters brought up with Hindi cinema in north India. They model themselves after their favourite stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan.
How does Salman Khan fit in?
A chunk of the film is a tribute to his stardom. Not only do the goons dress like Salman Khan, but they also copy his hairstyle and mouth his dialogues.