Cannes Film Festival 2018: From Manto to Deepika Padukone — a look at Indian presence in the French Riviera

FP Staff

May 22, 2018 12:08:56 IST

The Cannes Film Festival 2018, like every year, came to a glorious end on 19 May. While the festival is considered to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, much of the world's attention is grabbed by the stars who come down to the French Riviera either to promote their films or walk the celebrated red carpet.

Over the years, India has become a veteran when it comes to making its presence felt at the festival. This year too wasn't any different.

While Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja walked the red carpet for Loreal, Kangana Ranaut and Huma Qureshi were present at the fest as brand ambassadors for the liquor brand Grey Goose India. Mallika Sherawat too made an appearance, where she represented the NGO Free A Girl India, which works towards preventing female-trafficking and sex-trade in India.

Stars at red carpet:

Deepika Padukone

because every picture has a story to tell...❤️

A post shared by Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) on

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

 Cannes Film Festival 2018: From Manto to Deepika Padukone — a look at Indian presence in the French Riviera

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Cannes Film Festival 2018. Facebook

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja

Kangana Ranaut

The Queen has arrived in @nedrettaciroglu! #queenatcannes #kanganaatcannes #greygooselife

A post shared by Kangana Ranaut (@team_kangana_ranaut) on

Huma Qureshi

Mallika Sherawat

While India's glamour quotient was spot on, the presence of Indian cinema was equally promising at the Festival de Cannes. Nandita Das' Manto was premiered at the festival and was met with majorly positive reviews. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the controversial Urdu writer Saadat Hassan Manto and Rasika Dugal as his wife, the film details the writer's life. Director Nandita Das has also been unanimously lauded for her work and sensitivity in dealing with the journey of her characters in the film. 


Tamil superstar Dhanush made his debut at Cannes with his international project The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir. The film is based on Romain Puertolas' novel The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe.  

Rohena Gera's Sir, starring Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber and Geetanjali Kulkarni in lead roles, was also a much-talked-about film at Cannes this year. Another indie film titled Kia and the Cosmos also earned rave review at the film festival. Directed by Sudipto Roy, the film detailed the journey of an autistic girl named Kia who takes upon herself to unravel the mystery behind her dead cat Cosmos.

This year's exotic selection included perhaps the first film from Lakshadweep Islands to be screened at Cannes, as well as the award-winning Assamese film Village Rockstars, by Rima Das, who said she was elated to be at Cannes as it was more than a dream come true for her and her team.

This year for the first time, four National Award-winning regional films — Village Rockstars (Assamese), Sinjar (Jasari), Bhayanakam (Malayalam), and Nagarkirtan (Bangla) have been handpicked for the screenings at India’s Pavilion at Cannes.

Some of the heavyweights of independent cinema in India, notably Shaji Karun and Jahnu Barua, were also present with their own projects at Cannes, highlighting, perhaps for the first time, the diversity of independent cinema in India at Cannes.

For Deepak Gawade and Sharad Kelkar, director and producer respectively of Marathi film Idak, that depicts the journey of a village simpleton and a goat, the visit to Cannes was a true milestone and a turning point for them.

The first look poster of award-winning director Rahat Kazmi's Lihaaf was unveiled at the festival. The film is a screen adaptation of Ismat Chughtai's controversial and most popular story of the same name which explores homosexuality and lesbianism in feudal Indian households.

The Tashkent Files was also screened (first 15 minutes) at the festival. Featuring Shweta Basu, Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty, Vivek Agnihotri's film revolves around the death of the former Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shashtri, according to a report by DNA.

Also, veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai also announced an upcoming collaborative project based on the life of the controversial spiritual guru Osho.

(With inputs from IANS)

Updated Date: May 22, 2018 12:09:55 IST