This year's Cannes film festival will include six Indian films portraying distinct storylines tinged with the country's unique cultural colours.
Six films have been selected by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for screening at the 10-day film festival, which begins on May 17, according to a report by Hindustan Times.
Bollywood actor R. Madhavan's ‘Rocketry - The Nambi Effect’ (Hindi, English, Tamil), ‘Godavari’ (Marathi), ‘Alpha Beta Gamma’ (Hindi), ‘Boomba Ride’ (Mishing), ‘Dhuin’ (Hindi, Marathi), and ‘Tree Full of Parrots’ (Malayalam) are the films in the lineup.
"I’m very excited and nervous as well. As an actor himself, if your film is going to the Cannes film festival, you are already nervous. And now as a director, and that too my debut film, I really don’t know what to feel. I have got knots in my stomach" Madhavan explains.
"As a filmmaker, it is a feeling of tremendous joy for the film to be screened at the Market in Cannes as part of the country’s official delegation of films. It always feels proud to represent India on a global platform," says filmmaker Nikhil Mahajan, who is thrilled that his film, ‘Godavari’, has taken off internationally. It portrays the narrative of a family coping with death on the banks of the Godavari River.
"Godavari's journey has been really satisfying, and I'm excited about our theatrical release so that we can share the film with local fans," Mahajan added.
From an inspiring true tale to a parody of India's rural education system, regional cinema from the book of Indian film will take centre stage at the fest, where India is also the nation of honour, with the fest's 75th edition coinciding with India's 75th year of independence.
‘Rocketry - The Nambi Effect’ is a recounting of Indian aerospace engineer Nambi Narayanan's life story as told in an interview by actor Shah Rukh Khan, and Indian filmmaker Jayaraj's ‘Tree Full of Parrots’ is a moving look at compassion through the eyes of a small kid named Poonjan.
‘Dhuin’ by director Achal Mishra explores the conflict between ambitions and responsibilities via the life of an aspiring actor, whereas ‘Alpha Beta Gamma’ by filmmaker Shankar Srikumar is about a failing marriage.
Biswajeet Bora, the director of ‘Boomba Ride’, describes it as a fresh beginning for regional film, broadening the market for the projects.
"Being an Assamese filmmaker is a big achievement. We usually face a lot of struggle while making a film, and now the government of India giving this huge platform to showcase our film, is a great moment for us" says Bora, who chose the camera to demonstrate how education can alter the lives of people in rural places. The film, made with a mainly amateur cast, is set in an underprivileged school with only one kid, Boomba.
"This will help us promote our film because we usually struggle to showcase our films, especially on OTT platforms. Now, after getting this exposure, we will get a bigger market. I am so happy about it" adds Bora, who will depart for Cannes on May 20 for a premiere at the Olympia Cinema on May 22.