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I&B minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurates Virtual India Pavilion at Cannes Film Market 2020

The silver lining with regards to Cannes is nuance, says Prasoon Joshi

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MUMBAI: Minister of information and broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the India Pavilion at the Cannes Film Market 2020 virtually. The pavilion showcases Indian cinema across linguistic, cultural and regional spheres and aims at forging an increasing number of international partnerships in distribution, production, filming in India, script development and technology and promoting film sales and syndication.

An ensemble list of achievers, stakeholders of the media and entertainment industry and senior government officials attended the inaugural session at the Virtual India Pavilion. These included ministry of I&B, government of India secretary Amit Khare, ministry of I&B, government of India additional secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari, ministry of I&B, government of India and MD, NFDC joint secretary (films) TCA Kalyani, minister (Consular) embassy of India to France Shrila Dutta Kumar, CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, Active Telugu Film makers Guild national representative D Suresh Babu, Special Treats Productions Colin Burrows, Film personality Kangana Ranaut, actor Mai Ghat Usha Jadhav.

Addressing the film fraternity and film lovers across the globe, Prakash Javedekar said, “Virtual inaugurations are the new normal and these virtual spaces are the new places for real partnerships.” He added that films are India’s soft power and the film facilitation office would be made a single window for all centre and state government permissions. The minister invited the international film fraternity to come shoot in India and sell in the world market. The minister expressed hope that the two films sent to Cannes from India would be appreciated world over.

Prasoon Joshi questioned the panel on the importance of cinema. People are social animals, where cinema is part of everyday life. According to him cinema has got hardwired to now become an essential. If someone would remove entertainment from people’s lives, it would create a void. 

He adds, “The question arises that what form will it take? Maybe for some time people will not be able to go to cinemas, but it does not mean the expression will stop. I think the silver lining is there.”

He also mentioned that silver lining with regards to Cannes is 'nuance.' It is return and rebirth of nuance. He notes that earlier, entertainment was consumed in a more unconscious way. It is a platform that will return people’s lives. People are reanalysing their priorities; it will change the way they want to consume media and content. Now films will have to look at newer and fresher subjects which are more contextual. 

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar thinks that it is necessary to tell our stories and culture globally with films like Manikarnika and Tanhaji. Indian govt should encourage production houses abroad to come to India. One-window permission should be implemented to make a hassle-free process.

There should be more collaborations where our stories can reach global market. India is vast in terms of language and rich culture. Hence, it is huge landscape for producers abroad.

Shrila Dutta Kumar said, “We at the Indian embassy are fully aware of Indian cinema being a powerful medium that showcases many extraordinary facets of the country.”

Indian cinema provides live publicity for our vast film production infrastructure, technically skilled manpower and the very choices of locale that we provide to foreign filmmakers. She also adds that the French government actively encourages foreign film production to shoot their movies in France, and also, in the last few years the government has been providing tax rebates for expenditure to foreign film companies. The general thought behind this move is to encourage film tourism.

The India Pavilion would serve as an information dissemination point about India and the Indian cinema for the global film community. The pavilion would also facilitate business meetings and linkages between filmmakers and other media and entertainment industry stakeholders.

During 22 June - 26 June 2020, the India Pavilion is organising various sessions on areas of topical interest: Future of films in a post Covid2019 world, film in India, taking Indian content to global markets: Importance and role of film festivals in the age of digital platforms, export of Indian film services to the world/servicing the world entertainment, and re-energising co-productions.

Three roundtables are also set to be organised to discuss threadbare the ideas on promoting Indian films and to anchor partnerships between the domestic and global media & entertainment industry players.

For the first time, India pavilion will also organise two screenings: Mai Ghat: Crime No 103/200 (Marathi) and Hellaro (Gujarati), both National Film Award winning movies.

Also, to mark the centenary year of the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the Virtual India Pavilion is showcasing some of his exquisite work: Ganashatru, Ghare Baire, Agantuk, and Music of Satyajit Ray at the Pavilions website.

The minister also inaugurated the poster and festival booklet for International Film Festival of India 2020 to be held from 20 to 28 November in Goa.

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