Cannes Film Festival 2018: A look at Indian representation, from Manto to The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

FP Staff

May 08, 2018 16:22:18 IST

The annual Cannes Film Festival opens this week and just like every year, the French Riviera town will roll out the red carpet to A-list celebrities from all around the world.

From Satyajit Ray in the 70s to Aishwarya Rai to Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in more recent years, the Croisette’s fine sands, glitzy hotels and gourmet restaurants have also hosted Indian cinema’s biggest and most respected actors and filmmakers during the world’s most glamorous film festival.

Similarly, this year's edition will find many Indian celebrities and talented filmmakers showcasing their work. So, here's a look at the Indian representation at the 71st edition of the prestigious film festival, starting this week.

Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018: A journalist's view of the iconic event and its touching commitment to cinema

Films representing India

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Manto. YouTube

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Manto. YouTube

National Award-winning films from Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Lakshadweep will represent India's regional cinema prowess at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. A delegation led by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani will attend the festival to provide a platform for stakeholders to market their films.

Actor-director Nandita Das will present her biopic Manto, which features Siddiqui in the titular role. The biopic about the troubled life of Indian-Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto has been selected for the Un Certain Regard category of the film festival.

Siddiqui will be in Cannes from 13-15 May before returning to India to finish shooting Thackeray, which releases in January 2019. He has become a fixture at the festival since debuting with Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), walking the red carpet more than half a dozen times. The Lunchbox was screened there in 2013 while Raman Raghav followed in 2016. His Manto co-star Rasika Dugal will also be at the festival.

Also read: Cannes 2018: Most anticipated films in lineup from Nuri Ceylan's The Wild Pear Tree to Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows

National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao will will be seen in 5 Weddings opposite Nargis Fakhri. The film, directed by Namrata Singh Gujral, features Nargis and Rajkummar opposite each other for the first time. The movie is reportedly based on weddings in Bollywood and is narrated from the perspective of an American journalist who comes to India to cover them.

Tamil actor Dhanush, who makes his international debut in Ken Scott's Indo-French co-production The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir will be seen at Cannes this year. The film, based on Romain Puertolas best-selling debut novel The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe, also stars Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi, Laurent Lafitte and Abel.

Adding to India's presence at Cannes for various categories will be director Rohena Gera for her debut feature film Sir, featuring actress Tillotama Shome, Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna for his directorial debut The Last Color and young thespian Antara Rao for her short film Asthi.

Gera's Sir, a love story set against the backdrop of a class divide, has been selected for the Cannes Film Festival's the Critics' Week sidebar. The movie is among the seven films selected for the feature competition category of the sidebar, which opens with Paul Dano's feature directorial debut Wildlife and closes with Alex Lutz's Guy. Both of these films are out of the competition categories and are billed as Special Screenings Features. Gera's film was first announced at Goa's Film Bazaar in 2016 and revolves around the relationship with a middle class man and his maid.

Bollywood A-list stars walking the red carpet

70th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film the film "120 battements par minute" (120 Beats Per Minute) in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France. 20/05/2017. Actress Aishwarya Rai poses. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau - RC1191A22030

Aishwarya Rai poses at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Reuters/Regis Duvignau

On the red carpet, there will be women power galore as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Huma Qureshi and Mallika Sherawat will be seen walking the red carpet for various brand endorsements, while actors like Rasika and Tillotama will represent their movies.

Also read: Cannes Film Festival 2018 director Thierry Fremaux addresses row with Netflix, #MeToo movement

India Day

An "India Day" will be organised at the festival on 11 May to bring together the French and Indian film industries. The Embassy of France in India and UniFrance, in charge of promoting French films abroad, will organise India Day on Friday at Terrasse UniFrance, Cannes. Union minister Smriti Irani will inaugurate the India Pavilion, where Assamese film Village Rockstars, Malayalam film Bhayanakam, Bengali movie Nagarkirtan, and Sinjar, a film from Lakshadweep made in the Jasari language, will be showcased. The India Pavilion will also see the launch of T for Tajmahal and the poster of Bhonsle with actor Manoj Bajpayee.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: May 08, 2018 16:28:59 IST