Art & Entertainment

Cannes 2023: Kanu Behl’s Hindi Feature ‘Agra’ Gets A Standing Ovation At Its Screening At Directors’ Fortnight

‘Agra’ is Kanu Behl’s second film to have its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival after his debut film ‘Titli’ (2014).

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Team Of Kanu Behl’s Hindi Feature ‘Agra’ At Cannes 2023
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Award-winning filmmaker Kanu Behl’s next Hindi feature ‘Agra’ received an overwhelming response at its premiere screening at the Directors’ Fortnight, an independent section of the Cannes Film Festival, 2023. The film received a 5-minute standing ovation.

The premiere was attended by a large section of Indian and International media along with people who had reserved their seats for the premiere well in advance. An Indo-French co-production by Saregama India Ltd, UFO Production, and O28 Films, Agra is the only Indian feature film in the Directors' Fortnight. 

The festival, highlighting independent films from throughout the world, a free-spirited, non-competitive selection, began on May 16, 2023 and will last until May 27, 2023.

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‘Agra’ is Kanu Behl’s second film to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival after his debut film ‘Titli’ which premiered in the 2014 Cannes Un Certain Regard section. ‘Agra’ boasts of an ensemble cast headlined by Rahul Roy ('Aashiqui' star) who makes a comeback with this film. It also features Priyanka Bose (actor of the Oscar-nominated film ‘Lion’), a debut actor Mohit Agarwal in a lead role, Ruhani Sharma, veteran actors Vibha Chibber, Sonal Jha and Aanchal Goswami in pivotal roles. 

The film, written by Kanu Behl and Atika Chohan, is an exploration of sexual dynamics within a family, and the deep dystopian fractures created in a modern India fast shrinking into pigeon-holed spaces. The film was also part of the FBR section of the Viewing Room at NFDC’s Film Bazaar, 2022.

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Kanu Behl, the writer-director of the film, talked about getting appreciation and said, "It was overwhelming to see a story that took me on a very personal journey, received with such love and warmth on the global stage. 'Agra' reflects a very specific milieu but the story it tells about the politics of sexual repression and the tangled skeins of desire, is universal and that's what the audiences responded to. I feel truly rewarded that the film's journey has begun on such an uplifting note. To see it being celebrated in the prestigious Director’s Fortnight at Cannes gives me hope that it will open the way for difficult conversations about things we don't address in our homes."

Siddharth Anand Kumar – Sr. VP of Films & Events at Saregama India Ltd, added, “The premiere of 'Agra' at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes was a matter of great pride for us. As a narrator of contemporary truths, Kanu Behl has done a great job and as a studio unafraid to experiment or take risks, we feel proud to have backed this film. The fact that it has been received at Cannes with so much love is very encouraging and we hope to make many more brave films that say the unsaid and explore uncharted territories of the human psyche.”  

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