Anurag Basu’s much anticipated Kites may screen at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival that runs from May 12 to 23. Produced by Reliance Big Pictures and starring Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actress and model Barbara Mori, the movie however, cannot be part of either the festival’s aompetition or 'A Certain Regard', a section created to discover talent and explore radical trends. What Kites may hope to clinch is a slot in Special Screening, a place that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas found in 2002.
Kites had a wonderful promotion at Cannes last year, when Roshan and Mori stayed several days at the French Riviera. The film’s rough cut was screened for publicists and buyers among others.
This year, Indian excitement at the alluring French Riviera could be pretty high with the Roshans, the Moris and Anupam Kher as well as Freida Pinto, the girl who stole a million hearts in Slumdog Millionaire, all marking their presence. Kher and Pinto are part of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Woody Allen’s latest creation strongly tipped to be at Cannes. Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Watts are also in it.
With about 40 days to go before the world’s most important movie festival unrolls, the guess work has begun. Of course on April 15, the Festival will officially announce the list of films in Paris. Admittedly in recent years, a few additions have been made to the programme right up to the start of the event.
So, let us take a look at the other Cannes probables. Mike Leigh is reportedly coming back to the Festival with Another Year (U.K.), and so is Nikita Mikhalkov with The Exodus – The Fortress: Burnt By The Sun 2 (Russia). Leigh has made some remarkable cinema: Naked, Secrets and Lies, Life is Sweet and Bleak Moments. Mikhalkov, whose part 1 of the movie was shown at Cannes in 1994, hit the eye with his 1998 The Barber of Siberia.
And will Abbas Kiarostami and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu return to the Croisette (Cannes’ famous beach front) as well with their Certified Copy and Beautiful’ respectively? Iran’s Kiarostami, who although has been compared with Satyajit Ray, Vittorio de Sica and Eric Rohmer, exhibited a unique style in Taste of Cherry, which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes in 1997. His Ten that came in 2002 broke away from many conventions to follow an unusual moviemaking style. Inarritu’s 2006 Babel was a great piece of work whose several stories take place each in America, Mexico, Morocco and Japan. In the end, they all converge at one point, and we realise how every incident was firmly connected to the other.
Cannes may also see Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) and John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole (Nicole Kidman).
The other titles that may hit it off with the Cannes selectors are: Im Sang-soo’s The Housemaid (South Korea),Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage and Takashi Miike’s Thirteen Assassins ( both from Japan), Xavier Dolan’s Love, Imagined (Canada), Olivier AssayasCarlos, Rachid Bouchareb’s Outlaws and Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialism (all from France),Tom Tykwer’s Three (Germany), Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe and Peter Mullan’s Neds (both from the U.K.), and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver and Peter Weir’s The Way Back (all from the U.S.A).