Friday, May 30, 2014

Many Splendoured Cannes


Exclusive coverage of the Cannes Film Festival

Fri May 23, 2014

clip_image002The hub of Cannes is its four official sections: Competition, Un Certain Regard, Critics Week and Director’s Fortnight. But emanating from this central core is a whole gamut of other programmes and events that each constitute a world of their own. There is the Cinéfondation (films devoted to student films), the Short Film Corner (screening documentaries and shorts from all over the world), Cannes Classics (screening finely restored film classics from all over the world, under the aegis of Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation) and many more looking into every aspect of film as an art form.

Of particular interest is the La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde (The Making of World Cinema), financed by the French government, and with Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles as its patron for this year. The program is designed to help boost the cinema of countries where it is still developing art form.

This section selected ten filmmakers from all over the world on the merit of their scripts to be part of a rigorous networking agenda at Cannes. French Institute director Valérie Mouroux said, "These promising film directors, from Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle Eat, have the chance to meet one-on-one with producers, to search for co-production funds." Walter Salles meets each one individually to evaluate their respective scripts.

Among the ten is the young director from Bangladesh, Kamar Ahmad Simon. His documentary Are you Listening!, about a farmer saving his land from being lost to the sea in Bangladesh, won the Grand Prix in 2013 Cinema du Reel (Paris) as the best feature and was awarded the Golden Conch in MIFF (Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short, Animation Films), 2014.

Kamar is now ready with his first feature film script, Silence of the Seashell, in Bengali, about two friends who cross India, their journey beginning in Kolkata, to search for a river bank remembered in one of the friends’ youth before his mother’s death. The script was awarded by the Goteborg International Film Festival.

An architect by training, Kamar moved early into film. He visited the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute often which was a learning experience. He then became an associate of Tareque Masud, the only Cannes award-winning director (The Clay Bird, 2002) from Bangladesh. He is the founder of ‘Filmy-Bahas’, an active group of film dialogue, discussion and debate in Bangladesh.

Kamar feels that with his back-up of meetings at Cannes, he may be ready to shoot his film the year end. His films starts in Kolkata and he is looking for a producer to work on this part of the film.

Yet another key event in Cannes is its line-up of Master Classes. Leading them this year was one by Italian legend Sophia Loren, charming as ever at the age of 79. She was the subject of a Master Class on her remarkable career and also for a special screening of her new 25-minute short film The Human Voice, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti. It is based on the Jean Cocteau play which allows its one character to display a gamut of emotions while speaking on the phone. Preceding it was the premiere of the newly restored 1964 classic Marriage Italian Style. This film is one of her 14 collaborations with director Vittorio De Sica and her co-starring with her 12-time leading man Marcello Mastroianni. Marriage Italian Style brought Loren her second (and last) Best Actress Oscar nomination, and it still holds up today.

Courtesy: - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014.reproducing Uma da Cunha's column

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