This year, six films from India narrating diverse stories infused with myriad hues of the country’s culture will be coming alive on the screen at the upcoming Cannes film festival.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has shortlisted six films which will be screened at the 10-day film festival, which starts on May 17.
The lineup includes 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).
“I’m very excited and nervous as well. As an actor itself, if your film is going to the Cannes film festival, you are already nervous. And now as director, and that too my debut film, I really don’t know what to feel. I have got knots in my stomach,” says Madhavan.
“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 director Nikhil Mahajan, who is glad about his film, Godavari, taking the international flight. It tells the story of a family living on the banks of river Godavari, coping with death.
“The journey of Godavari has been very fulfilling and I’m thrilled for our theatrical release so that we can share the film with local audiences,” he adds.
From an inspiration real life story, a lens on emotional complexities to satire on India’s rural education system, regional cinema from the book of Indian cinema will be at centerstage at the fest, where India is also the country of honour, with the fest’s 75th edition coinciding with India’s 75th year of independence.
Rocketry – The Nambi Effect is a retelling of Nambi Narayanan’s life story as it unravels in an interview by actor Shah Rukh Khan, Jayaraj’s Tree Full of Parrots is a poignant take on compassion through the story of a young boy Poonjan.
Achal Mishra’s Dhuin opens the tussle between dreams and responsibilities with the story of an aspiring actor, while Shankar Srikumar’s Alpha Beta Gamma is about a marriage which is falling apart
Boomba Ride’s director Biswajeet Bora calls it a new beginning for regional cinema, widening the market for the projects.
“Being an Assamese filmmaker, it 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 picked the camera to show how education can transform the lives of people in rural areas. The film, shot with a mostly nonprofessional cast, revolves around an impoverished school where there is only one student, 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,” says Bora, revealing that he will be leaving for Cannes on May 20 for a screening on May 22 at the Olympia Cinema.