Doyen of French cinema, director Bertrand Tavernier, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI. However the septuagenarian rues, “It’s a paradox that I’m being honored here when even one of my films hasn’t released in India.”
The director says he has been a huge fan of Satyajit Ray and has watched all his films. From the current lot, he follows Shyam Benegal’s works closely: “I plan to watch more Indian film makers now.”
Bertrand has travelled to India five times in the past. “I love the scenic beauty here. I would like to shoot a film here if the right script comes my way,” he beams. “It could be something to do with Indo-French relations.”
He adds that he doesn’t follow commercially successful formulas while making a film. “I don’t want to make formula films or be a slave of technology. I believe in emotions and try to make a change by portraying education and culture in my films. They have inspired 18 people to become school teachers and four to become cops,” he informs.
Talking about his new film The Princess of Montpensier, which is being screened at the festival he says, “Madame de Lafayette’s short story, which she wrote in the 17th century, gave me a chance to make a real film about love, with its passion rooted in a period which was, in its own way, close to what we are living today.”
Set against the background of the Catholic-Protestant civil war in France, it paints the story of young Marie de Mezieres (Mélanie Thierry), who loves Catholic hothead Henri but is forced into marriage to the Prince de Montpensier.