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Cannes to screen Gurinder film

The festival will feature an episode shot by Chadha, reports Saibal Chatterjee.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 18:40 IST

As cinema lovers of the world eagerly wait for the dawn of April 20, the day the 59th Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to announce its selection, one piece of news could gladden Indian hearts.

Gurinder Chadha, a British national who has made such talked about India-centric films as Bhaji on the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, will enjoy five minutes of fame when the curtains go up on the Un Certain Regard section of the 59th Cannes Film Festival.

A five-minute episode directed by Chadha is part of Paris je t’aime, the film that has been chosen to open the Un Certain Regard section on the evening of May 18.

Produced by Claudie Ossard and Emmanuel Benbihy, Paris je t’aime is billed as “20 stories of love from the city of love”. It is a collective work directed by some of the world’s best filmmakers, each focusing on one of Paris’s arrondissements.

Paris je t’aime is made up of five-minute films helmed by total of 24 directors. Every episode is a love story set in a different Parisian location. Among the directors whose work will be on view are Alfonso Cuoron (Mexico), Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne and the Coen brothers (USA), Isabel Coixet (Spain), Oliver Schmitz (South Africa), Nobuhiro Suwa (Japan), Tom Tykwer (Germany), Vincenzo Natali (Italy) and Walter Salles (Brazil).

Gurinder Cadha with Martin Hinderson and Aishwarya Rai.A five-minute episode directed by Gurinder Chadha is part of the film Paris je t’aime that will be featured to open the Un Certain Regard section of the festival.

Among the French directors who have contributed their creative mite to the unusual project are Olivier Assayas, superstar Gerard Depardieu and Sylvain Chomet. Also on the list are the Scandinavian auteur Christoffer Boe, the Australia-born, Hong Kong-based cinematographer and famed Wong Kar Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle and American horror high priest Wes Craven.

While Aishwarya Rai, the star of Chadha’s Bollywood-meets-Austen musical Bride and Prejudice, has become quite a Cannes Film Festival regular since Devdas was screened there in 2002, this is the first time that the London-based director has made it to the official line-up of the world’s premier cinema event.

Chadha was in Cannes last year to announce the launch of Mistress of Spices, a film scripted by her and directed by husband and co-writer Paul Mayeda Berges. Since premiering in the Toronto International Film Festival last year, Mistress of Spices hasn’t quite made the kind of waves that it was expected to.

The selection of a collective film that includes a brief sampling of Chadha’s work is a bit of a recompense, for whatever it is worth, for the Mistress of Spices fiasco.

The actors who will be seen in the 20 episodes of Paris je t’aime include such multinational stars as Ben Gazzara, Bob Hoskins, Juliette Binoche, Gena Rowlands, Nick Nolte, Ludivine Sagnier, Sergio Castellito, Willem Dafoe, Natalie Portman, Yolande Moreau and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Every year, the Un Certain Regard section presents a selection of 20 brand-new films from all over the world. Its jury awards the Un Certain Regard award, which will this year be announced on May 27, a day before the official closure of the 59th Cannes Film Festival.