Cannes 2018 Day 6 roundup: Nandita Das' Manto premieres; Girls of the Sun sparks furious controversy

FP Staff

May,14 2018 18:51:57 IST

Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek and Marion Cotillard were among 82 women who made a symbolic walk up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, in a demonstration of solidarity for women struggling for a voice in the movie industry. The world's most prestigious film festival also saw plenty of new premieres and many stars showing off the latest fashion trends.

Here are some of the highlights from days five and six at Cannes 2018.

Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018: Salma Hayek says time's up for male actors, lobbies for equal pay

Cannes tunes into Manto's world and anguished voice

Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, from left, director Nandita Das, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'Manto' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

(From L-R) Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, director Nandita Das, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Manto at the 71st international film festival, Cannes. Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

Nandita Das' period biopic Manto, India's flag-bearer in the official selection of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, premiered here today in a packed Salle Debussy. A stunned audience stayed on for long to congratulate the team behind the biopic of the long-deceased Saadat Hasan Manto, an uncompromising writer who fought all his working life to protect creative freedom.

Written and directed by Nandita, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular character along with Rasika Dugal and Tahir Raj Bhasin in lead roles. It has been selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Also read — Cannes Film Festival 2018: 23 cast, crew members represent Manto at premiere of Nandita Das' film

Aishwarya Rai steps out in butterfly gown

Actress and former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made a colourful statement with a dramatic 'butterfly' gown by Dubai-based designer Michael Cinco for her first red carpet appearance at the 71st Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. Aishwarya, who clocks her 17th year at the film jamboree this time as L'Oreal Paris brand ambassador, took a confident walk with the exquisite three meter train trailing behind and catching the attention of the crowd.

Actress Aishwarya Rai poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Sink or Swim' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 13, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Aishwarya Rai poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Sink or Swim at Cannes. Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

She walked the red carpet for the premiere of Eva Husson's French drama Les filles du soleil, starring Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. With her lips accentuated by a scarlet shade, and eyes done up with a smoky effect, Aishwarya kept her hair straight and simple with a neat middle parting. She kept her accessories minimalistic with just danglers and a couple of rings. In a pre-red carpet video shared on her newly launched Instagram page, Aishwarya is seen walking along with daughter Aaradhya who is dressed in a red ensemble. The actress is seen helping the little diva do a little twirl. "Circle of life," Aishwarya captioned the image.

Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chooses strapless silver gown for second red carpet look

Before she went for the red carpet, Aishwarya was welcomed with a loud cheer from the crowd. She waved out and signed autographs, apart from gesturing the traditional Indian 'namaste'.

Short film by Sujoy Ghosh's daughter selected for Cannes

A short film titled Neighbourhood Ties by Diya Ghosh, daughter of filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh, has been chosen for the Cannes Film Festival.

Sujoy tweeted a screenshot of the festival's website where Diya's film was mentioned. "Daughter's first short film gets selected in Cannes short film corner. Jo baap nahi kar paya, beti ne kar dikhaya (What the father could not do, the daughter did it)," he wrote on Sunday.

Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018: Manto's reception proves India's representation is way beyond the red carpet

Diya's movie, a comedy, is 10 minutes long. Sujoy's friends like director Sanjay Gupta and music composer Vishal Dadlani congratulated him for his daughter's achievement. Gupta wrote: "Incredible buddy. What a proud proud moment. God bless her pappa — the Great." Dadlani tweeted: "Despite you, not because of you! Seriously, though, I'm so incredibly happy and so incredibly proud, I can only imagine how you feel, Sujoy. Only the beginning for Diya!"

Barred director Jafar Panahi desperate to show his film at home in Iran

The female cast and crew of the new film by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who is banned from leaving the country, said Sunday he was crushed he could not attend the Cannes premiere but that his "most ardent hope" was to show the movie at home. His Three Faces, one of 21 movies vying for the Palme d'Or top prize, drew a standing ovation at the world's top film festival late Saturday, but Panahi's absence was sorely felt with a seat left symbolically empty for the dissident director.

The meditative road movie tells the story of the intertwined fates of three Iranian women from different generations, with Panahi playing a co-starring role. Panahi, 57, was outlawed from making movies and leaving the country after supporting mass protests in 2009 and making a series of films that critiqued the state of modern Iran. Pleas by Oscar-winning US director Oliver Stone and other supporters to let Panahi travel to Cannes fell on deaf ears in Tehran ahead of the premiere.

He has frequently found ways of working around the ban, famously smuggling his 2011 documentary This is Not a Film out of the country in a flash drive hidden in a cake to screen it in Cannes. His 2015 picture Taxi won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival to the consternation of his conservative critics back home.

Film about Kurdish women fighters sparks furious Cannes row

A still from Girls of the Sun. Image via Twitter

A still from Girls of the Sun. Image via Twitter

A stirring film about Kurdish women fighters taking on Islamic State jihadists sparked a furious row between critics at the Cannes film festival Sunday, with some being accused of misogyny. Girls of the Sun, which follows a platoon of Yazidi women battling the extremists who had enslaved them and their children in Iraq, was premiered at the same time as one person was killed and four others wounded in a suspected jihadist knife attack in Paris.

The movie, with Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani as a lawyer who picks up an AK47 to lead the Sun Brigade of survivors, is set in Kurdistan in the days leading up to the 13 November Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people died. But as the curtain came down, a shouting match erupted at a nearby screening for critics. A small number who had booed the film were shouted down by others, who accused them of disrespecting the film's female director and cast.

Polish culture minister denies filmmaker's 'blacklist' charge

Polish Culture Minister Piotr Glinski on Sunday denied an allegation by Oscar-winning film director Pawel Pawlikowski that Poland's rightwing government has a "blacklist" of artists.

"The most complete freedom of creation rules in Poland," Glinski wrote on Twitter, adding: "I wish Polish artists success at Cannes and not only at Cannes." Pawlikowski, 60, who won the best foreign-language movie Oscar for Ida in 2015, told AFP at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday that the film had been banned from being shown on television or in Polish cultural institutes abroad.

He said the film was on a "blacklist" and that he had "the honour" to be among the "books, theatre directors and filmmakers who must not be supported". Glinski, who is also deputy prime minister, wrote on Twitter: "There is no blacklist of artists in Poland, and the culture minister has never accused Mr. Pawlikowski of anything whatsoever."

Ida, about a young Catholic nun who learns she is a Holocaust orphan, touches on the killing of Jews during the Nazi occupation by Poles with whom they had sought refuge — a fact swept under the carpet for decades. The film became the target of attacks and a petition by Glinski, then in opposition, when it was nominated for an Academy Award. He accused Pawlikowski of blackening the country's reputation.

On Sunday, in a separate tweet, Glinski said he was "flabbergasted" over Pawlikowski's interview, "all the more so because in March we supported the film Cold War with an extra million zlotys ($280,000) so they could finish production." The state TV news channel TVP reported that deputy culture minister Pawel Lewandowski said Poland's National Film Institute "appears to have contributed six million zlotys to Pawlikowski's latest film".

Cold War is the story of two star-crossed lovers -- loosely based on Pawlikowski's own parents -- flitting dangerously back and forth over the Iron Curtain until one is thrown into a communist work camp. One of the film's stars, Joanna Kulig, is already an early favourite for the best actress award at Cannes.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: May 14, 2018 19:12 PM