The Hollywood View
Few film events on earth can match the frenzy, flamboyance and festivity of Festival International Du Film at Cannes
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Few film events on earth can match the frenzy, flamboyance and festivity of Festival International Du Film at Cannes. This is where filmstars, international celebrities, music legends, film studio heads, sports champions, Arab royalty, European nobility, Indian diamond merchants, Asian tycoons and the American tech billionaires collide with the simple movie folks on the Croisette of a small sea-facing town in the south of France.
But, the Festival de Cannes essentially belongs to the auteurs – the filmmakers who push creative envelops with their cinematic abilities as they translate a variety of human emotions digitally on to the silver screen. The audience in Cannes often rewards actors with thunderous applause, booming bravos or sometimes even fairly loud thumbs down that sweeps the dark auditorium. Every edition offers a new insight into the complexities of cinematic nuances, breakthroughs in image capture and manipulation techniques.
Over the years Indian filmdom has excelled in Cannes but no Indian film has ever been awarded the top prize at Cannes – the Palme d’Or.
The festival is also the single biggest location for charity events in the world that draw out the richest and the most famous to give back for a variety of global causes. The annual amfAR gala, a fund-raiser for AIDS research complete with its starry guest list and sublime setting raises an incredible $30 million over dinner. Indian stars too have chosen to represent international brands and consequently walk the red carpet in Cannes dressed in extremely expensive gowns occasionally even getting lost in the intimidating crowds. Last year the one Indian actor that stole the red carpet moment on the opening night was Nandita Das wearing a sari as the paparazzi deafeningly screamed her name.
Besides celebrating the artistic cinema the festival has a Marche du Film that offers terrific business prospects for the global community of film buyers and distributers. This year over 4,700 companies are attending the market and the festival venue will be packed with screenings, conference panels and promotional events. With China driving the business forward, the China Night party, held at the Majestic Beach, is usually one of the classiest of the big set piece soirees at Cannes.
The enterprising and hardworking folks of Indian embassy in Paris, CII, FICCI and the National Film Development Corporation have kept the Indian flag flying high at the India pavilion. A high-level government delegation led by Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore currently serving as the Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting has actively participated in all the Indian events and interacted with the Indian contingent.
This year at the 70th edition of Cannes, while there is no Indian film in the competition section for close to two and a half decades now, the big push is for making India the destination for global films. A new film facilitation office that was overdue for decades has been set up and will actively promote Indian locations and services. At Cannes 2017, FICCI along with ministry of commerce has set up a buyers and sellers meet for the 85 Indian companies attending this year to look out for international coproduction partners, film financing and distributers and promoting their products and services.
Hopefully, in the years to come, Indian filmmakers will regularly walk away with the Palme d’Or and our media and entertainment industry will have a dominant position in global filmdom.
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