India to shine bright at Cannes red carpet: Celebs look at it as a great start

Indian stars are all set to grace the red carpet on the opening day of the 75th edition of Festival de Cannes. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, will be leading a delegation of celebrities from the film and music industries, which includes Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Prasoon Joshi, actors Akshay Kumar, R Madhavan, Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, Grammy awardee Ricky Kej and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

Actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Nayanthara, Pooja Hegde, Tamannaah Bhatia will also be walking the red carpet on May 17 as part of the contingent, which also folk artist Mame Khan, and Vani Tripathi.

With India also being the Official Country of Honour at Cannes Film Market this year, we talk to some members of the contingent to find out what does it mean for the future of Indian cinema

Prasoon Joshi

It is a very significant festival where the filmmakers and talent get an opportunity to learn to market and showcase. To be representing India is an honour. For India, it is an important opportunity, because on one hand, it reminds us of our great cinematic legacy, and on other hand it opens a door towards new horizons, on the lines, ‘what more can be done?’. Because when you see your work against the world’s best work, it inspires the new generation, telling us that we have to go a long way. It reminds us to not get complacent., making us work hard towards creating better cinema.

Ricky Kej

This year being the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75 years of Indian independence, it feels extra special that India is the country of honour at the Cannes film fest, and to actually represent our country after having won the Grammy Award for India just a few weeks back. It feels amazing and I’m very grateful to Thakur ji for inviting me to accompany him for this momentous occasion. The film festival comprises a world class jury every year, and celebrates cinema from all over the world. They could be a low budget film, or a Hollywood blockbuster, everybody has an equal chance of getting noticed. It just depends upon cinematic excellence.

Shekhar Kapur

We are on the cusp of a huge change of cultural influence, where the power of western entertainment is declining and eastern (Asian/African) storytelling is rising. Cannes is the greatest showcase of films in the world and for too long the mainstream commercial cinema has been ignored at Cannes. That’s our fault, while films like Mother India and Do Bigha Zameen, were both commercial films yet serious social commentary. More and more Indian films represented at Cannes have been more intimate films that are rooted in the culture which they represent… Films we write off as regional! Hopefully, this opportunity is for both — the world seeing more representation of mainstream Indian cinema and also mainstream Indian film makers understand how to reach out to mainstream international audiences.

Mame Khan

Walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival 2022 alongside Thakur ji and the most renowned members of our film and music fraternity as part of the India delegation is a great honour for me. I am proud to represent Rajasthan’s folk fusion music in front of an international audience. On a very personal note, I hope being at Cannes turns out to be an outstanding opportunity for intercultural exchange and interactions with like minded people, to get inspired and to connect.

Vani Tripathi Tikoo

At the Cannes film festival, I expect a lot of conversation about the co-production market, about creating more opportunities for India and India being a global content hub today. In fact, I am also expecting some conversations around the International Film Festival of India that is held in Goa, and how we can learn and collaborate with the Cannes film fest soon. Also, it is great news that several filmmakers will get a chance to showcase their films. I am really looking forward to it.

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