In a first, Cannes Film Market is having India

India has been chosen as the first ever official country of honour at Marche Du Film, which is the business side of the Cannes Film Festival, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced on Wednesday.

What does it mean?

“It is the first time the Marché du Film has an official Country of Honour, and this special focus will continue annually with different nations in the spotlight at future editions,” Thakur was quoted as saying in a press release. The honour has been bestowed as India celebrates 75 years of Independence, and this year also marks 75 years of the film festival.

He said the Country of Honour status ensured India’s presence as a “focus country” at the opening night of Marche’ Du Films being organised at the Majestic Beach with the spotlight on India, its cinema, culture and heritage. Adding an Indian flavour to the night would be special performances by Indian choir bands along with folk music and fireworks. Both Indian and French cuisine will be served at the event.

The event will give Indian professionals a chance to participate and network with people in the industry, Thakur said, adding, that 10 professionals will be participating in ‘animation day’ networking session.

In the ‘Goes to Cannes’ section, India has been given an opportunity to pitch five selected movies. The ministry has finalised the films, which are part of the Work in Progress lab under the Film Bazaar. The films are: Baghjan by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia, Bailadila by Shailendra Sahu, Ek Jagah Apni by Ektara Collective, Follower (Marathi, Kannada) by Harshad Nalawade and Shivamma by Jai Shankar.

Screening of restored films

As the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence, coinciding with Cannes Film Festival’s 75th anniversary, a brand new restoration of Indian cinema legend Satyajit Ray’s rare movie Pratidwandi will also be presented in an exclusive screening at the movie gala.

According to a press release issued by the festival, Pratidwandi is restored under the National Film Heritage Mission, a project undertaken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

The restoration was carried out by Prime Focus Technologies, Mumbai, and grading was supervised by renowned Indian cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee. The restored version is presented by the National Film Archive of India (NFDC).

Apart from Pratidwandi, Hollywood classic Singin’ In The Rain, will be presented in a brand new 4K restoration.

The 1952 Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen film, which details the transition from silent film to talkies, will have its screening on the Boulevard de la Croisette.
Indian film Thamp (The Circus Tent), a 1978 Aravindan Govindan directorial, will have its Restoration World Premiere at the movie gala.

Special screenings

Indian filmmaker Shaunak Sen’s Sundance grand jury prize-winning documentary All That Breathes is showing as a special screening. Another highlight for India at this edition of Cannes Film Festival would be the world premiere of the movie Rocketry produced by actor R Madhavan. It would be showcased at the Palais des Festivals of the market screening on 19 May.

Deepika as Cannes Jury

Bollywood star Deepika Padukone has already been announced as a part of the competition jury of the upcoming edition of the festival along with prestigious names such as actor-filmmaker Rebecca Hall and Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.

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Author: Akagamino

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