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Cannes film festival opens tomorrow with no Indian film in official selection

A year after Nandita Das took the story of Saadat Hasan Manto for the global audience in Cannes, there is no representation from the world's largest film producing country this time.

Cannes film festival opens tomorrow with no Indian film in official selection
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Cannes film festival - the acclaimed international film festival held every year in Cannes, France will commence from Tuesday, May 14 featuring films of all genres, including documentaries from all around the world but with no Indian film in official selection this time.

American director Jim Jarmusch's zombie film, 'The Dead Don't Die', the story of a small town under siege from the dead, will open the 72nd Cannes film festival tomorrow.

English director Ken Loach, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, Belgian brothers Jean-Pieree and Luc Dardenne, American director Quentin Tarantino, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and Canadian Xavier Dolan will be among filmmakers from around the world who will be presenting their new works in Cannes.

A year after Nandita Das took the story of Saadat Hasan Manto for the global audience in Cannes, there is no representation from the world's largest film producing country this time. Last year, 'Manto' was part of the official selection with another Indian film, 'Sir' directed by Rohena Gera participating in the Critic's Week parallel section. India will be present at the Marche du Film, the Cannes film market.

A delegation from the Indian film industry, which include award-winning Malayalam director Shaji N Karun and Central Board of Film Certification Chairman Prasoon Joshi, will be present at the Indian pavilion in the Cannes film market, which will open on Wednesday. Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare will inaugurate the Indian pavilion. Actors Kangana Ranaut and Hina Khan and producer Ekta Kapoor will be among those representing India in Cannes.

Assamese director Rima Das, whose film 'Village Rockstars' was the Indian entry to the Oscars this year, will join filmmaker Dominic Sangma from Meghalaya and Samit Kakkad from Maharashtra in a panel discussion on reaching regional cinema to global audiences during the festival.

"We need producers to back our filmmakers like the support Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen received," said Karun, whose 1994 film 'Swaham' was the last Indian movie in the prestigious competition section of the Cannes festival.

Two film projects from West Bengal and Meghalaya are, however, participating in the Cannes film market. 'Invitation' by Saurav Rai from Bara Mangwa village near Kalimpong will be part of the Hong Kong Goes to Cannes programme. Rai was selected for the programme by the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum. 'Rapture' by Dominic Sangma from Meghalaya's Nongthymmai Garo village will also be present in Cannes film market with his new feature film project. Titled 'Rapture', Sangma's film is set in Meghalaya.

Another Indian, Modhura Palit, a fresh cinematography graduate from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata, will be presented the Angenieux Special Encouragement Award on the sidelines on the festival. Instituted by the French camera lens manufacturing company Angenieux, the award will be a recognition of emerging talent in Indian film industry.

Twenty-one films will compete for the Palme d'Or, the top prize of the festival, this year. The films include Jarmusch's 'The Dead Don't Die', Almodovar's 'Pain and Glory', Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood', Loach's 'Sorry We Missed You', Suleiman's 'It Must Be Heaven', Dolan's 'Matthias and Maxime', and 'Young Ahmad' by the Dardenne brothers.

There are four films in the competition that are directed by women this year, compared to three in the last edition. The films are, 'Sibyl' by French director Justine Triet, 'Portrait of a Lady on File' by French filmmaker Celine Ciamma, and 'Little Joe' by Austrian director Jessica Hausner.

"There are 13 female directors in the official selection this year," said Cannes festival's General Delegate Thierry Fremaux. The festival had pledge gender equality after the MeToo movement in the global film industry.

The competition jury this year is headed by celebrated Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu. The jury of Un Certain Regard section is presided over by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, whose film 'Capernaum' won an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film last year. The Asian presence in Cannes competition this year comes from South Korean film 'Parasite' by Bong Joon Ho, 'The Wild Goose Lake' by Chinese director Diao Yinan, and 'It Must Be Heaven' by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman.

The festival will see the presence of British singer Elton John and Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona. Elton John will be present at the festival for the world premiere of 'Rocketman', a biopic on him directed by English actor-filmmaker Dexter Fletcher. Indian-origin British filmmaker Asif Kapadia's biopic on Maradona, 'Diego Maradona', is an official selection in Cannes this year.

Also present this year in Cannes will be Sylvester Stallone, who will come to the festival to announce to the festival audience the fifth part of his Rambo series, 'Rambo V: Last Blood'. There will be films at the festival commemorating the 75th anniversary of Second World War. The festival will run up to May 25.

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