Cannes Film Festival
Courtesy: NBC News

Cannes Film Festival And India

May 26, 2022

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and a selection or a screening of a movie at this festival is a mammoth achievement any filmmaker can ever dream of.

From actors to directors, from writers to technicians, this festival holds a special place in the lives of every single individual associated with films and filmmaking.

The festival screens selected films and documentaries from around the world and honour the best film, documentaries and artists.

The 2022 edition of the prestigious festival began on May 17 and it will end on May 28. Country of Honour' at

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival is a special for India as the country becomes the first country to be named the "Country Of Honour" at the Marche du Film or Cannes Market, which runs parallel to the Festival.

As the Country of Honour, India was given an opportunity to pitch five selected movies at the 'Goes to Cannes Section'.

The movies, which are a part of the 'Work In Progress' lab under the Film Bazaar, are Baghjan (Assamese) by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia, Bailadila (Hindi) by Shailendra Sahu, Ek Jagah Apni (A Space of Our Own) (Hindi) by Ektara Collective, Follower (Marathi) by Harshad Nalawade, and Shivamma (Kannada) by Jai Shankar.

India's Journey At The Cannes Film Festival

Media misreporting events is not new in India, especially when it is related to international festivals related to entertainment, business, or sports. The same happened this year as well when the government of India announced the six movies selected for the 'Goes To Cannes Section'.

The fact is, these movies were never going to be a part of the main festival screening. Most media houses, however, reported the opposite.

Over the decades, only a handful of Indian movies have been part of the main festival. Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (now called Palme d’Or) in 1946.

In 1950, Chetan Anand became the first Indian to be selected as a member of the international jury.

Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram’s Aman Bhupali was nominated for the Palme d’Or and bagged the Best Sound Recording Award in 1952.

The success was replicated in 1954 when Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin won the Prix Internationale.

Then in 1955, Bimal Roy’s Biraj Bahu was nominated for Palme d’Or.

Baby Naaz, in 1955, was honoured with a Special Distinction Award for her performance in Raj Kapoor’s Boot Polish.

For its depiction of poverty in rural West Bengal, Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali won the Palm d’Or in 1956.

Gotama: The Buddha, a documentary by Rajbhans Khanna won the Jury Prize in 1957.

Then in 1982, Mrinal Sen became an international jury member. Sen's Kharij won the Special Jury Prize in 1983.

Sen's Kandhar was first screened (out of competition) in 1984 and then in 2010, as a part of the Cannes Classics.

It was Mira Nair, in 1988, who stole the show with Salaam Bombay. The film won the Camera d’Or and the Audience Prize.

Again in 1988, Goutam Ghose's Bengali film Antarajali Jatra was screened in the Un Certain Regard. This was followed by the screening of the Malayalam film Piravi, which also received a special mention in the Camera d’Or category.

In 1989, Satyajit Ray’s Ganashatru had a special screening.

Northeast India's first representation in Cannes came in 1991 with the screening of Aribam Syam Sharma's Manipuri film Ishanou.

Indradhanura Chhai, an Oriya film directed by Susant Misra competed in the Grand Prix section in 1995.

In 1999, Murali Nair's Malayalam film Marana Simhasanam won the Camera d’Or.

Indian films that have been screened at Cannes Film Festival include Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas in 2002, Vasanthabalan's Tamil film Veyil in 2006, and Anurag Kashyap's Hindi film Udaan in 2010, which was screened in the Un Certain Regard category and bagged critical acclaim.

Ashim Ahluwalia's Hindi film Miss Lovely competed in the Un Certain Regard category in 2012. In the same year, Anurag Kashyap’s cult classic Hindi film Gangs of Wasseypur was also screened at the Director’s Fortnight.

Kashyap's Ugly (2012) and Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016) were also screened in the same category.

Oh yes, before I forget. Aishwarya Rai became the first Indian woman to be a part of the international jury in 2003.

This year, it is Deepika Padukone who has been a part of the international jury.

Ritesh Batra's Hindi film The Lunchbox received a standing ovation at the International Critics Week in 2013. The festival was opened by Amitabh Bachchan, while Vidya Balan and Nandita Das were among the international jury.

hindi language anthology film Bombay Talkies and Amit Kumar's Hindi film Monsoon Shootout were also screened at Cannes Films Festival in 2013.

Kanu Behl's Hindi film Titli in 2014, Neeraj Ghaywan's Hindi film Maasan in 2015, and Gurvinder Singh's Punjabi film Chauthi Koot were screened in the Un Certain Regard.

SS Rajamouili's Telugu film Baahubali: The Beginning and five other films were screened in 2016, followed by two dry years. And then Nandita Das' Hindi film Manto in 2018 and Omung Kumar's Hindi film Sarbjit in 2019 were also screened in Cannes.

In 2021, Indian films screened in Cannes were Invisible Demons by Rahul Jain in the Special Cinema for the Climate section, A Night of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia in The Parallel Directors’ Fortnight section, and Eka by Suman Sen in La Fabrique Cinema section

Bollywood Actresses And Cannes

Bollywood actresses are famous for walking the red carpet in Cannes. In fact, many cosmetic brands are partners of the festival. Because of this, the brand ambassadors of the cosmetic brands promote their respective brands by walking on the red carpet.

Some of the actresses are Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Kangana Ranaut.

Sometimes the glamorous entry of the actress at film festivals is also done to raise funds for environmental and humanitarian causes through 'Fashion for Relief'.

Fashion for Relief organizes the event in association with CARE, a London-based non-profit organization. The money raised from these programs is given to international charitable organizations, which give it to the needy

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