My goal is to make a film for the competition category at Cannes: Sharad Kelkar
Sharad Kelkar talks about his first visit to Cannes and taking his debut Marathi production to the film festival.bollywood Updated: May 17, 2018 16:48 IST
Sharad Kelkar is on a high after returning from his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival. “Going to Cannes is a big deal for a Marathi film. I couldn’t have asked for more for my first production venture. It has been well received at the screenings in Indian and international film festivals,” says the actor who was in the French Riviera for a week.
His Marathi film Idak, promoted by the Maharashtra state government, was screened twice at the Cannes Film Market. He also hosted the opening ceremony at the India pavilion and attended the Naomi Campbell hosted Fashion For Relief Charity gala. Delighted that Marathi films are going places, Sharad says, “Cannes was a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our film and it is inspiring to see that now our government too, is supporting Marathi cinema. They, too, realise that we have good content and Marathi films are getting their worth.” The Lai Bhaari (2014) actor says production happened by accident. Director Deepak Gawde met him with the script and Sharad loved the story of a man and his goat so much that he decided to produce it on the spot.
Sharad met with many international actors and technicians at Cannes, and realised that there is a market for good Indian content. He says, “They now realise that song-and-dance films are a part of Indian culture but it’s not a necessary part of every film, especially after the success of Baahubali (2015) and Secret Superstar (2017) in China and other countries. They have now realised that we can make content-driven cinema too. In fact, I was amazed that so many foreigners, especially Chinese, recognised my voice as I had dubbed for Baahubali.”
Sharad adds he was disheartened to see the lack of Indian films in the competition category at Cannes. “Over so many years, Indian films have rarely been selected for the competition category. We have the talent and we can produce content worthy of the official entry in the festival circuit. Each year, our movies are screened in the Un Certain Regard section or market screenings but not competing for the Palm d’Or. There are many senior film-makers and fantastic directors who can make a brilliant piece of work. My goal is to make a film that gets selected in the competition category in Cannes.”
In the past Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1956) received the Palm d’Or, Best Sound Recording for Amar Bhoopali (1951), a period biopic about the Marathi poet Honaji Bala, child artist Baby Naaz received Special Distinction Award for her performance in Raj Kapoor’s Boot Polish (1955), and a documentary Gotama: The Buddha won the Jury Prize in 1957.