With Cannes Film Festival just around the corner, there’s buzz all around as to who’s making it to Cannes – be it the movies or celebrities. Cinema enthusiastic Indians in particular keep a track of all the latest updates about any sort of Indian presence at the renowned film festival. And now with the Indian northern state, Uttar Pradesh, making it to Cannes, the buzz never seems to die.
The ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) in collaboration with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) has again organised the India Pavilion at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. The special India pavilion was launched at Cannes over more than a decade ago in 2001, prior to that India only had a stall organised by the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC). Over the years it has become India’s window to the world of cinema and has also grown in terms of size and star power. It serves as a platform for B2B meetings, co-production agreements between India and other countries, discussions about Indian film policies and various other initiatives. Last year the pavilion was inaugurated by the I&B minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. According to him, it also provides an opportunity to showcase India’s own film festival to the world – International Film Festival of India (IFFI) – held in Goa. This year too, the ministry looks forward to a great response for its India Pavilion.
Uttar Pradesh at Cannes
Interestingly, the ministry has for the first time invited Uttar Pradesh (UP), the northern Indian state, to promote its film policies at the Cannes Film Festival. The idea is to promote all the places in Uttar Pradesh as possible destinations for shooting and also to make the filmmakers aware of the state’s film policies. In the past a number of American and British films have been shot in the state that also houses the colossal white marble monument – the Taj Mahal – which is one of the wonders of the world. Million Dollar Arm (2014) by Craig Gillespie and Jobs (2013) by Joshua Michael Stern are a few such movies that have tasted the waters of this state that connects with the capital city of New Delhi via a six-lane controlled Yamuna Expressway.
This would be one-of-its-kind opportunity for Uttar Pradesh to promote itself as Vishal Kapoor, a member of the UP Film Development Council says, “This would not only attract foreign tourists to UP, but would also enhance job opportunities for the common public.”
Elaborating about the relevance of the Cannes Film Festival, Gaurav Dwivedi, vice chairman, UPFDC, says, “Cannes is the Mecca and Mahakumbh (a mass Hindu pilgrimage) of cinema. Participating and showcasing Uttar Pradesh before a galaxy of filmmakers from all over the world would be a unique opportunity for the state. We look forward to getting the best of world cinema to come and shoot in the diverse locales of our state. It would also be an opportunity to build brand UP on a global platform as the next film destination of India.”
Indians at Cannes
Anurag Kashyap, the noted Indian film director, whose psychological- thriller – Raman Raghav 2.0 – is getting featured at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight section also belongs to UP and is ecstatic about the special invite the state has received from the I&B ministry.
Apparently it’s the ease of shooting along with its great locales that have been attracting filmmakers to come and explore Uttar Pradesh. Apart from this, two Indian actresses who have created quite a fan frenzy for their presence at Cannes since many years and have confirmed their presence for this year as well are – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Miss World 2000) and Sonam Kapoor – both walking the red carpet as the brand ambassadors of the cosmetic brand L’Oreal Paris. They also graced the India Pavilion last year and added the much needed oomph to the whole set up. We look forward to the India Pavilion at 112 Village International Riviera in Cannes from May 12-22, 2016.