Cannes film Festival: India guest country, Vidya Balan on jury
India is the guest country at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, which will take place from 15th to 26th May, 2013. The guest country selection coincides with the centennial of Indian cinema and Cannes will welcome a large number of Indian films and delegates to celebrate the anniversary.
Bombay Talkies and Monsoon Shootout have been selected for the Official Selection (out of competition), for the Festival:
Bombay Talkies, an Indian anthology film consisting of four short films, directed by Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar will be screened as a Gala screening at the festival. The film will release on 3rd May, 2013 in India, to mark the centenary year of Indian cinema. The film stars Rani Mukerji, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui besides special appearances by Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan.
Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout will be part of midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Set against the monsoon-lashed gritty urban landscape of Mumbai, Monsoon Shootout is an existential thriller.
Amit Kumar, an FTII graduate, directed the award-winning short film Bypass in 2003.
Lunch Box and Ugly have been selected in the prestigious Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight sections, which are parallel competitions running alongside the official festival selection.
Lunchbox (Dabba) by Ritesh Batra has been selected for the Cannes Critics’ Week which is a parallel competition selection running alongside the official festival selection. The film features Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles.
Lunchbox revolves around Mumbai’s dabbawallahs (lunch box delivery men). It is the story about two people living in their own private prisons until a chance encounter helps them to create a fantasy world together, and gradually the fantasy overwhelms their reality.
Lunchbox is an Indian-French-German co-production. On the French side, the film is coproduced by ASAP Films and Arte France Cinema and received support from the ‘The World Cinema Support’ (Aide aux cinémas du monde), managed by the CNC and the Institut Français.
This film will also compete for the Caméra d’Or (award for the best first feature film presented in any of the Cannes’ selections).
Ugly by Anurag Kashyap, has been selected at the Directors’ Fortnight.
“It’s a simple kidnap drama but it deals with relationships, patriarchal system, how men look at women, domestic violence and many more things. It is a very personal drama in the shape of a thriller”, according to Anurag Kashyap.
Anurag Kashyap returns to the Cannes Film festival, since his two part Gangs of Wasseypur was screened in the same section at the festival last year. It was released few weeks later on the French screens. The Directors’ Fortnight is a parallel non competitive section of Cannes Film Festival.
Incidentally, Anurag Kashyap is also related to the three other films that are at Cannes this year. He has directed one of the segments of Bombay Talkies. The films Lunchbox (Dabba) and Monsoon Shootout are co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and have been selected for Cannes Critics Week and Midnight Screening sections respectively.
Indian actress, Vidya Balan is part of the Cannes Film Festival 9 member Jury, presided over by American director and producer Steven Spielberg.
The other Jury members are Japanese director, Naomi Kawase; Australian actress and producer, Nicole Kidman; British scriptwriter, director and producer, Lynne Ramsay; French actor and director Daniel Auteuil; Taiwanese director, producer and scriptwriter, Ang Lee; Romanian scriptwriter, director and producer Cristian Mungiu and Austrian Actor, Christopher Waltz.
Last few years have marked the beginning of the most successful period in Vidya Balan’s career as she portrayed five consecutive roles to wide critical acclaim in films like Paa (2009), Ishqiya (2010), No One Killed Jessica (2011), The Dirty Picture (2011), and Kahaani (2012). She has received one National Film Award, five Filmfare Awards and five Screen Awards.
Indian Film actress and director, Nandita Das has been invited for the second time at the festival as a Jury Member of the Cinéfondation and Short film Jury, headed by the acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion. Nandita Das is known for her performance in films like Deepa Mehta’s Fire, Earth, Bawandar and Amaar Bhuvan. In 2008, she made her directorial debut with Firaaq. She has been a member of the Jury previously at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. She has been honoured with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 2008.
Director Manjeet Singh’s project ’Chenu’ has been selected by the Cannes Film Festival’s co-production market L’Atelier. It is Manjeet Singh’s second film after his internationally acclaimed debut ’Mumbai Cha Raja’ which had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. ’Chenu’ is among the 15 projects selected from across the globe for L’Atelier.
Amitabh Bachchan will be on the French Riviera as part of the team of The Great Gatsby, which will open the Cannes Film Festival. He will be joined by director Baz Luhrmann, co-star Leonardo Di Caprio and rapper Jay-Z as the curtain goes up on this edition of the Cannes festival. France’s highest civilian honour, the Knight of the Legion of Honour, was conferred upon Mr. Bachchan in 2007 for his exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond.
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