CHENNAI: The curtains are all set to go up on Tuesday evening on the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the first full-fledged in-person edition of the event in three years, with the screening of Michel Hazanivicius’s movie-themed French zombie comedy Final Cut.
India, the country of honour at the 2022 Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market), marks her 75th year as an independent nation with a six-film package to be screened in the market, including actor R Madhavan’s directorial debut, 7THPJYW^ 9MJ 3FRGN *ƉJHY.
The five other films by the Centre are Nikhil Mahajan’s Marathi-language Godavari,
Shankar Srikumar’s Alpha Beta Gamma, Biswajeet Bora’s Boomba Ride, Achal Mishra’s Dhuin and Jayaraj’s Tree Full of Parrots.
In the festival proper, however, India’s presence is at best fringe. Shaunak Sen’s Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary film All That Breathes, Pratham Khurana’s short film in Le Cinef (a competition for film schools) and juror Deepika Padukone are the only ‘official’ participants.
On the sidelines of the festival, however, a clutch of new Indian film projects will look for global breakthroughs via pitching and mentoring sessions organised as part of either the Cannes Film Festival or Marche du Film.
Leading this pack is FTII student Gourab Kumar Mullick’s Starfruits, which is among nine fiction films and one documentary shortlisted for La Fabrique les cinemas du monde, a programme hosted by Institute Francais. The film seeks to present a “contrast to the archetypal image of the ‘gangster’ fighting the system through a unique love story”, said Mullick.
The 10 La Fabrique 2022 filmmakers will be mentored by Midi Z, a Myanmar-born Taiwanese director whose credits include the features Ice Poison, The Road to Mandalay and Nina Wu.
Another Indian film that is likely to be in the news in the months ahead is Rajesh S. Jala’s Chingari (Spark), which is one of five projects from across the world selected by the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum for its “HAF Goes to Cannes” programme. The ‘NFDC Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes’ line-up has five works-in-progress at different stage of production. These are Baghjan, Assamese-Moran film by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia; Bailadila, a Hindi-Chhattisgarhi film by Shailendra Sahu; Ektara Collective’s Ek Jagah Apni; Harshad Nalawade’s Marathi-Kannada-Hindi film Follower and Jai Shankar’s Kannada film Shivamma.*