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India's independent filmmakers aim big

entertainment Updated: May 19, 2008 19:01 IST
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Away from the glitz and glamour of big money and superstars, some of India's independent filmmakers are making quiet but well planned moves to hard sell their movies on the sidelines of the prestigious 61st Cannes Film Festival.

Veteran director Ketan Mehta, who is spearheading the Independent Indian Filmmakers Worldwide (IIFW) initiative, is in Cannes to promote his latest film Rang Rasiya--a period drama about the relationship between legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma and his muse starring Randeep Hooda and Nandana Sen.

"There will be no market screening of Rang Rasiya," says Mehta, "but I will unveil clips from the film at a special event on May 20."

Members of the cast will be in attendance during the promotional bash. Rang Rasiya, which also has an English version titled Colours of Passion, is set for release across India by end-June.

"We will release only the Hindi version to begin with," says the director. The global release of the English version will be done a little while later."

Thanks to the sheer size and scope of their unfolding commercial plans, major media groups like Reliance Big Entertainment, Eros International and Sahara One Media and Entertainment are all likely to be the centre of attention.

But for small, independent films, Cannes is the gateway to a world of opportunities.

Nobody knows that better than Jagmohan Mundhra, a Cannes Film Market regular, who is back on the Croisette this year with Shoot on Sight, a film starring Naseeruddin Shah as a real-life Muslim Scotland yard officer.