Television

India and the Cannes Film Fest

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MUMBAI: Eight months down the line, and there's nostalgia and a longing to be in Cannes again. The Cannes Film Festival had this habit of growing on you. The high cost of living (hotel and apartment rates in Cannes rise four to six times offseason rates during the fest), and the punishing schedules for the press conferences and for the screenings notwithstanding. (Bed time is 2:30 am, awakening time is 7:00 am as the first screening is at 8:30 am and it's a 20 minute walk from one's apartment to the Palais des Festivals' Grand Auditorium).

2007 is the 60th year of the Cannes Fest, the 60th year of India's indedpendence and a great deal of gigs are planned highlighting the world's second or is it most attractive economy.

Hopefully, the volume of noise will be higher this year because India's efforts get lost in the cacophony that is the mark of the festival. The American studios, the UK independents, the Chinese film makers, Latin American and European directors attract so much of the limelight, that India's efforts simple don't make much of an impact. Of course, the Indian media will send back reports saying how well India is doing at Cannes, when the truth is far from that.

Hopefully, the Indian pavilion along the Croisette will be better organized this time around. The CII - which puts the Indian participation together - needs to be patted for the initiative, but a little more organization on the ground, will mean so much for the industry. Obviously, it is learning from its experiences and this year it promises that it will be an eyepopping experience for all.

The Indian independent film makers group - which had got the support of the Reliance group's Adlabs in the form of a pavilion - apparently is going to be back. In a much bigger way, says film maker Aditya Bhattacharrya. "It's become a movement globally, Almost any independent Indian outside of India who is making movies has become a part of it," he says. "It's good for the movie business."

The nostalgia that wells up is that of Tom Hanks charming one and all even as the da Vici Code got blasted as a disaster by all,Jon Voigt mumbling in an undecipherable language,. the gorgeous Maria Belluci, the maverick outlook of Wong kar Wai, the applause that Babel, Volver, Pan's Labrynth, received, among many other classy movies which were presented at the festival.

From the Indian perspective there is the victory of animatrix Gitanjali Rao who won a couple of awards being the sole Indian flag bearer. She in her way charmed one and all by her grace and dignity at the film mart. Then there was this group of French girls who came up to this writer pleading to meet with Karan Johar and Shah rukh Khan. The former was there they were told, the latter would not be coming. But did they meet him? Then there was the Omkara book launch, the Jagmohan Mundra's Provoked, WEG India's Avinash Jumaani's lavish party near the old port, Sunil Doshi's screening of Mixed Doubles in the Palais, the Film Producer Guild party which had more Indians than the overseas trade which is what it was meant to attract.

In its 60th year, India's entertainment barons have an opportunity to set things right. And leave no stone unturned while attempting to do it.



Below is a snapshot of Cannes Film Fest 2006

Films in competition

* L'Amico di famiglia - Paolo Sorrentino

* Babel - Alejandro González Iñárritu

* Crónica De Una Fuga - Israel Adrián Caetano

* Il caimano - Nanni Moretti

* Iklimler - Nuri Bilge Ceylan

* Fast Food Nation - Richard Linklater

* Flandres - Bruno Dumont

* Indigènes - Rachid Bouchareb

* Juventude Em Marcha (Colossal Youth) - Pedro Costa

* El Laberinto del Fauno - Guillermo del Toro

* Laitakaupungin valot - Aki Kaurismäki

* Marie-Antoinette - Sofia Coppola

* Quand j'étais chanteur - Xavier Giannoli

* La raison du plus faible - Lucas Belvaux

* Red Road - Andrea Arnold

* Selon Charlie - Nicole Garcia

* Southland Tales - Richard Kelly

* Summer Palace - Lou Ye

* Volver - Pedro Almodóvar

* The Wind That Shakes the Barley - Ken Loach

Films out of Competition

* The Da Vinci Code, by Ron Howard (Opening Film)

* Transylvania,by Tony Gatlif (Closing Film)

* United 93, by Paul Greengrass

* X-Men: The Last Stand, by Brett Ratner

* Over the Hedge, by Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick

* Election 2 (aka Triad Election ), by Johnnie To

* Clerks II, by Kevin Smith

* Silk, by Su Chao-pin

* Shortbus, by John Cameron Mitchell

* An Inconvenient Truth, by Davis Guggenheim

* Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters, by Bill Couturie

* Volevo Solo Vivere, by Mimmo Calopresti

* Bamako, by Abderrahmane Sissako

* Ici Najac, a vous la terre, by Jean-Henri Meunier

* Avida, by Benoit Delepine

* El-Banate Dol (aka These Girls ), by Tahani Rached

* Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait, by Philippe Parreno ,Douglas Gordon

* Nouvelle Chance, by Anne Fontaine

* The House Is Burning, by Holger Ernst

* Chlopiec na galopujacym koniu (aka The Boy on the Galloping Horse ), by Adam Guzinski

Un Certain Regard

* 977 - Nikolay Khomeriki

* A Scanner Darkly - Richard Linklater

* Bihisht Faqat Baroi Murdagon - Djamshed Usmonov

* Bled Number One - Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche

* Cum Mi-am Petrecut Sfarsitul Lumii - Catalin Mitulescu

* El Violin - Francisco Vargas Quevdeo

* Gwaï wik - Oxide Pang & Danny Pang

* Hamaca Paraguaya - Paz Encina

* Il Regista Di Matrimoni - Marco Belloccio

* La Californie - Jacques Fieschi

* La Tourneuse de pages - Denis Dercourt

* Luxury Car - Chao Wang

* Meurtrieres - Patrick Grandperret

* Paris, je t'aime - Gurinder Chadha, Bruno Podalydès, Gus van Sant, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas, Christopher Doyle, Isabel Coixet, Suwa Nobuhiro, Sylvain Chomet, Alfonso Cuarón, Olivier Assayas, Oliver Schmitz, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Wes Craven, Tom Tykwer, Gérard Depardieu, Frédéric Auburtin, Alexander Payne

* Salvador - Manuel Huerga

* Serambi - Garin Nugroho, Tonny Trimarsanto, Viva Westi, Lianto Luseno

* Suburban Mayhem - Paul Goldman

* Taxidermia - György Pálfi

* Ten Canoes - Rolf de Heer

* The Unforgiven - Jong-bin Yoon

* 2:37 - Murali K. Thalluri

* Uro - Stefan Faldbakken

* You Am I - Kristijonas Vildziunas

* Z Odzysku - Slawomir Fabicki

Winners

* Palme d'Or (Won by Ken Loach for The Wind That Shakes the Barley)

* Grand Prix (Won by Bruno Dumont for Flandres)

* Prix de la mise en scène (Won by Alejandro González Iñárritu director of Babel)

* Prix du Jury (Won by Andrea Arnold for Red Road)

* Prix du scénario (Won by Pedro Almodovar for Volver)

* Prix d'interprétation féminine du Festival de Cannes (Won by the cast of Volver including Penelope Cruz)

* Prix d'interprétation masculine du Festival de Cannes (Won by the cast of Indigènes)

* Prix un certain regard (Won by Chao Wang for Luxury Car).

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