Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Actor producer Sanjay Suri with Critics Week jury member Bikas Mishra (of website Dear Cinema.Com)
Anurag Kashyap and his lead actress Huma Quereshi at a photo session against Cannes coastline
Christian Jeune (Director of Film Department - Deputy General Delegate) of Cannes fest with Mr Uday Kumar Varma , Secretary I & B Ministry, Govt of India
Monday, May 21, 2012
India cinema’s own New Wave – close off shore?
Cannes, May 19, 2012 – There is high anticipation about new Indian cinema among delegates at the 65th Festival de Cannes. They ask if there is a new wave in Indian cinema, early ripples of which are visible here in films depicting the reality of India. The view is shared by a majority of Indians present (said to be over 800 this year). Anurag Kashyap says, “We have a new generation of filmmakers striving to make films which work beyond our own market and take Indian stories to the world and beyond our own diaspora audience.”
With the emphasis given in recent years to training filmmakers by international experts in the craftsmanship of cinema, there does seem to be resurgence. The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) has in recent years fine-tuned its Film Bazaar to provide an annual scriptwriting forum. It also selects a batch of new Indian filmmakers to attend screen writing courses at leading festivals such as Venice, Rotterdam and Locarno. Recently, Mumbai Mantra has teamed up with the Sundance film festival to pick 12 interesting new scripts from India followed by another high-level screenwriters’ retreat lab. The mentors at all these venues are of high caliber – and full of praise for the aspiring crop of Indian filmmakers.
Invariably, the latter half of Cannes is the more intriguing. This is could be because the really prized films need those precious extra days. So, they jostle together in the second week of Cannes. It was only yesterday afternoon that the India Pavilion resounded to hurrahs for the three Indian films that are yet to unfurl in three different Festival sections. Recently arrived were mover and shaker Anurag Kashyap (director of the two part, five hour Gangs of Wasseypur, in Director’s Fortnight) and Vasan Bala, (the curly-cropped debut director of The Peddlers screening in Critics Week). Both were cheered as Uday Kumar Verma , Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, draped ceremonial shawls on them. Both were speechless at the honour. A while later, the third Indian filmmaker to make his mark in Cannes was also being congratulated, Ashim Ahluwalia with his debut feature Miss Lovely in the Un Certain Regard section.
Very fittingly, on this celebratory occasion, Managing Director Nina Lath Gupta announced that NFDC, India had appointed Marten Rabarts to head NFDC’s Development wing. He will give up his job as Artistic Director of the renowned Binger Filmlab. Rabarts will relocate to Mumbai and oversee a professional development and training hub for directors, producers and writers in Mumbai.
Bringing a further gloss to India shining in Cannes will be Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor. They will attend the AMFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) dinner and after-party fund-raising event scheduled for May 24. Mallika Sherawat has been in Cannes for some days now gracing the red carpet.