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India pavillion shines at Cannes

hollywood Updated: May 13, 2011 11:42 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

India shines, and incredibly. So we are told time and again by politicians in power and bureaucrats back home. The India pavillion at Cannes, right on the beach in what is called the Village, is certainly shining this year.

Admittedly, the pavillion has a bright new look, a vast improvement from previous years when it looked dowdy and even unaesthetic. The reason could be that the National Film Development Corporation of India is in charge of the pavillion this time, and on day two of the Cannes Film Festival, things seemed organised and even pleasing – a stark contrast to last year when the film industry had set it up. And mucked it up to the dismay of visitors and Indian participants.

As Reddy, Joint Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, told me, they felt that it was a better idea to let the NFDC take charge and be accountable for any lapse, rather than let the seriously divided Indian movie industry organise the pavillion with little or no
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
responsibility. Once the Festival is over, the people supposedly accountable disappear.

The NFDC plans to promote six Indian film-makers at Cannes, in line with a series of steps being taken to push the country’s cinema in overseas territories. This will also help strengthen ties between Indian and foreign film industries. These are days of collaboration, and the most unlikely of partnerships are happening today.

The six moviemakers to be promoted at the festival are: Dibakar Banerjee (who helmed Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye! and Love, Sex Aur Dhoka and who will soon begin shooting a political thriller, Shanghai), Anurag Kashyap ( who made Dev D and That Girl In Yellow Boots and who has recently wrapped up Gangs Of Wasseypur), Anusha Rizvi (Peepli Live, which screened at Sundance and Berlin and which has just opened in the UK), Laxmikant Shetgaonkar (director of The Man Beyond The Bridge, a Konkani-language film which won the international critics prize in the Discovery section at Toronto), Sekhar Kammula (director from Andhra Pradesh whose credits include Happy Days and Leader), and Haobam Paban Kumar – (award-winning documentary and television director from Manipur).

The NFDC is also planning a gala India Night on May 16 on the beach.