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Kamal Haasan to open Indian Pavilion at 67th Cannes Film Festival

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NEW DELHI: Versatile actor Kamal Haasan will inaugurate the Indian pavilion - 112 Village International Riviera with a terrace overlooking the Meditarranean Sea - at the 67th Cannes Film Festival commencing on 14 May.

 Being set up by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in coordination with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B), it will be inaugurated by Haasan who is chairman of the FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave on 15 May in the presence of Indian Ambassador to France Arun K Singh, I&B secretary Bimal Julka, and Marche du Film (the Cannes Film Market) director Jerome Paillard.

The inaugural addresses will be followed by a discussion on 'The Making of Grace of Monaco', the inaugural film of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The interactive session anchored by veteran journalist Patrick Frater who is Asia Bureau Chief of Variety, will witness a discussion amongst key personnel from YRF Entertainment led by its head Uday Chopra - the Hollywood arm of the Bollywood powerhouse Yash Raj Films, and one of the producers of 'The Grace of Monaco', and the writer of the film; Development and Production at YRF Entertainment head and executive producer Jonathan Reiman and British-Iranian writer Arash Amel.

The afternoon will see a discussion and felicitation of ‘Titli’, India's official selection at the festival (Un Certain Regard section) along with the cast and crew including director Kanu Behl. The other Indian film selected at the Festival is Gitanjali Rao’s 19-minute animated romance ‘True Love Story’ which is the only Asian film in the Critics’ Week of the Festival. Titled 'The Journey to Cannes', this session will feature 'Titli' director Kanu Behl, YRF VP international operations Avtar Panesar, Sikhya Entertainment founder Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap and actor Ranvir Shorey.

The India Pavilion will showcase 100 years of Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional diversity with the aim of forging an increasing number of international partnerships in the realms of distribution, production, filming in India, script development and technology and promoting film sales and syndication.

 In particular, the area of focus at this year's Cannes Film Festival is establishing India as a global film shooting destination and highlighting initiatives such as Single Window Clearance and co-production agreements with various countries that will enable this.

The Ministry has ensured that the space available for Indian delegates is probably the biggest in the Cannes village (126 sq metres). To ensure optimum utilization of this coveted space, the Ministry and FICCI have worked to make a schedule of pre-structured B2B meetings for delegates.

For the first time, the Ministry is releasing the "India Film Guide for Cannes" at the inaugural ceremony with exhaustive descriptions of the policy initiatives of the Ministry, its affiliated bodies; details of all India's co-production agreements; all Indian films at Cannes and all visiting India delegates; key databases pertaining to the sector and the winners of this year's national awards.

FICCI, in association with the Ministry will be organising interactive sessions with Indian and international film industry stakeholders at the India Pavilion.

 Speakers at these sessions will include New Zealand Film Commission CEO Dave Gibson; Telefilm Canada CEO Carolle Brabant; Toronto Film Festival’s Artistic director Cameron Bailey; Rotterdam International Film Festival’s Cinemart manager Marit van den Elshout; Lighthouse Productions, China, CEO Cindy Shyu; John Penotti of Ivanhoe Productions in the United States; Special Treats Productions CEO Colin Burrows and crew members from Grace of Monaco.

The India Pavilion will be showcasing trailers of recent Indian films and displaying brochures and other literature of Indian film companies. FICCI will be facilitating structured B2B meetings between Indian and international delegates at the festival, and coordinating for exclusive networking events. Alongside, the 'India Film Guide', which will list all film related initiatives undertaken by the Government of India and information about all Indian films and delegates at Cannes this year, will be distributed to key international stakeholders.

India will be represented at Cannes by Julka as well as industry stakeholders such as Uday Chopra, Dibakar Banerjee, Bobby Bedi, Ravi Kottarakara and Supran Sen, president and secretary general respectively of the Film Federation of India; Film & Television Producers Guild of India CEO Kulmeet Makkar, and actors Mallika Sherawat and Ranvir Shorey among others.

 The India Pavilion will see the presence of Indian filmmakers whose films have been selected at Cannes this year - filmmakers Kanu Behl and Gitanjali Rao and other industry veterans and stars.

"We are honoured and privileged to be working with and on behalf of the Ministry at the prestigious Festival," FICCI secretary general Dr A. Didar Singh. “It is the next step in FICCI's continual efforts to bring Indian entertainment to the global forefront.”

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