NEW DELHI: While ‘Titli’ by Kanu Bahl is the Indian entry for Cannes official selection in Un Certain Regard, the Asian presence at the Critics' Week of the Cannes Film Festival is confined to one short, Gitanjali Rao's 19-minute animated romance True Love Story.
Behl will also be a contender for the Camera d’Or, the award for feature directing debut.
Rao describes her film, which won the Golden Conch for Best Animation at February's Mumbai International Film Festival, as a boy-meets-girl romance between two migrant teenagers in Mumbai who re-enact Bollywood fantasies.
According to Rao, "The animation industry in India is still very nascent and undefined. This is in sharp contrast with our regional film industries and Bollywood, which have strong identities and a rich history that film-makers can draw upon while they create their own works."
"That sort of identity is just not there with animation," she said. "We just end up imitating Disney. The thing is, Bollywood copies from Hollywood, but it doesn't imitate it. True Love Story is an attempt to create a unique visual effect that is Indian in its aesthetic."
Rao previously participated in the Critics' Week section in 2006 with Printed Rainbow (2006) about "the loneliness of an old woman and her cat, who escape into the fantastical world of match box covers". She was a member of its short film jury in 2011.
Last year, Critics' Week screened one Asian film, India's The Lunchbox.
“Titli” is co-produced by Yash Raj Films and DBP, the production house of cult Indian producer-director Dibakar Banerjee. The movie stars Ranveer Shorey, Amit Sial, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi, and introduces Shashank Arora.
Set in Delhi’s underbelly, the film centers on Titli, the youngest member of a violent carjacking brotherhood, who plots to escape the “family” business.