Mrinal Sen’s Kandahar to show at Cannes Film Fest

MUMBAI: As a tribute to Mrinal Sen, the Cannes International Film Festival will screen Kandahar (The Ruins), the filmmaker’s newly restored masterpiece, at the Cannes Film Festival that goes underway from 12 Mayto 23 May.

The film will be screened in the ‘Cannes Classic‘ section. The section, which was introduced in Cannes in 2004, will screen 12 films by various filmmakers the world over including late Jean Renoir and Alfred Hitchcock.

Sen‘s Kharij got the Cannes jury prize in 1983 and ‘Kandahar‘ got the special jury prize at the Montreal film fest in 1984.

Most of Sen‘s film negatives, including the Kolkata trilogy namely Interview, Calcutta 71 and Padatik, were found to be in poor shape last year. As a result, a mini-retrospective of his films at 2009 Cannes could not take place.

Following reports in the media about the poor condition of Sen‘s films last March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to restore the classics. Seventeen of the films are now being restored at the Pune archives.

The restoration of Kandahar starring Shabana Azmi has been completed by Reliance Mediaworks that had won the bid for restoration of hundreds of Indian classics from the National Film Archive.

"They had undertaken a pristine restoration process removing dust, dirt and scratches frame by frame making it fit for screening at the section," Sen said. Restoration work of Sen‘s 16 other films was also underway but in patches.

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