Jury members pose during a photo call at the Cannes festival.
India will be in focus at the Cannes film festival beginning tomorrow as the 60th anniversary of its Independence coincides with the 60 years of the prestigious film festival.
There will be a "red carpet walk" for India at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19. Two "India focus" days have been allotted in the 'Tous les Cinemas du Monde' section or "All Cinemas of the World" section at the Cannes film festival.
Seven Indian films including Mani Rathnam's Guru (Hindi), Raj Kumar Hirani's Lage Raho Munnabhai (Hindi), Rituparno Ghosh's Dosar (Bengali), Veyil (Tamil), Dharm (Hindi), Saira (Malayalam) and Missed Call (Hindi/English) will be screened at the festival.
The Tous les Cinemas du Monde section, which was inaugurated by the Festival de Cannes in 2005, comprises films that represent the best of world cinema.
<b1>India will also be the partner country at the opening dinner of the Cannes Film Marketand also the spotlight country at the Producers' Network this year at Cannes.
"The coincidence of 60th anniversary of Indian Independence and Festive de Cannes is a golden opportunity. By the sheer diversity of styles, subjects, and languages we can truly say that Indian cinema is the very expression of democracy," said Serge Sobczynski, head of the All Cinemas of the World section, Cannes Film Festival.
For the first time, the Union Ministry of Tourism will brand India at the Cannes Film Festival. They have taken around 19 spots at important locations at the Nice Airport and at Cannes for the 'Incredible India' campaign.
Leading the Indian participation at this year's Cannes filmfest will be senior officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, industry leaders, besides a galaxy of film stars.
Lending glamour to the event with their presence would be a galaxy of Bollywood stars, including the hottest celebrity couple in tinsel town Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, Shilpa Shetty, John Abraham and sultry siren Bipasha Basu.
While Abhishek and Aishwarya will be present in connection with the screening of Guru, John and Bipasha will be at the Cannes to promote their forthcoming film Goal.
Also gracing the film festival will be filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, who will be there in connection with screening of his Dosar, filmmaker Rakeysh Mehra (who will be promoting the English version of last year's hit Rang De Basanti) as well as Ronnie Screwvala of UTV.
Over 80 companies will position themselves at the Cannes taking 150 films (mainly for the market section) and 35 new projects.
<b3>"At Cannes this year, we will engage with the world in reaching out to the heart and the mind. The idea is to get to the world audiences to see Indian cinema and become familiar with our new young aesthetic language," said Bobby Bedi, Chairman of the CII National Entertainment Committee.
This year's efforts for India's participation have been coordinated by the CII Brand India Committee headed by Mr Nandan Nilekani, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys.
The Indian Pavilion at the Cannes film market, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry at the Village International, will have representation from across the country and participation include production companies, line producers, post production studios and exporters.
This year, over 20 exhibitors from India will showcase their products and projects at Palais and the India Pavilion on the sea front along the ritzy croisette. The Film and Television Guild of India, the Film Federation of India and South Indian Film Exporters Association are also part of the India Pavilion. The India participation also includes over 40 independent filmmakers and producers across the country looking out for new ventures and collaboration.
Among the major production houses who will be promoting their forthcoming ventures at the Cannes film festival are UTV, Kaleidoscope, Studio 18, Eros, Adlabs, I-Dreams and Planman films.
UTV, which will be represented at Cannes by its CEO Ronnie Screwvala, will be promoting three of its forthcoming films - Jodha Akbar, Goal and Metro.
Also having a grand presence at the festival will be Planman Motion Pictures headed by management guru Arindam Chaudhuri. The company will be promoting five of its films to be released in the current financial year.
CII has also brought out the India-the Big Picture book - an essential guide to connect with the movie business which will be released at the fest on May 17.