Mira Nair discusses absence of Indian films at Cannes Film Festival
Mira Nair who is in Cannes as a mentor for the 11th edition of La Fabrique Cinema. She said that the tastes and agendas of the selection committee and that of Indian cinema don’t necessarily align.
The day started with a film that stayed with me like a bad dream – Bacurau directed by Brazilian film critic turned director Kleber Mendonca Filho who co-directs here with his producer and production designer Juliano Dornelles. Bacurau is the name of a fictional village in the Brazilian outback. The time is a few years from now. The directors build up a slow and steady sense of a world unhinged and mid-way the film goes from a grounded, naturalistic style to ultra-violent genre filmmaking. Bacurau wobbles but then steadies itself moving with force toward a disturbing conclusion. The violence is horrific but this tough film is worth watching.
I also did an interview with Mira Nair who is in Cannes as a mentor for the 11th edition of La Fabrique Cinema. This is a program set up by the cinema department of the Institut Francais to encourage rising talent from emerging countries who are developing their first or second feature film. The program has her working with filmmakers and projects from both new and experienced filmmakers. Mira is a force of nature. She was the first Indian to win the Camera d’Or for best first film for Salaam Bombay at Cannes in 1988. When I asked her why India has had such a spotty track record at Cannes, she said it’s not necessarily because Indian filmmakers are doing anything wrong but because the tastes and agendas of the selection committee and that of Indian cinema don’t necessarily align. She said that post Salaam Bombay, some of her own films like the excellent Monsoon Wedding and The Namesake were rejected by Cannes. Monsoon Wedding ended up winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival so that story ended well. Mira starts shooting her ambitious passion project – an adaptation of Vikram Seth’s sprawling novel A Suitable Boy for the BBC – in June. The cast (what Mira is willing to reveal right now) includes Tabu, Randeep Hooda and an A-list female actor who is likely to be confirmed soon. I can’t wait to see it.
A-list female Indian actors descended on the Croisette today – Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut. They swept up the famed red carpet looking ethereal – when it comes to oversized glamour, Bollywood always delivers! Now if we could only get some of our films to make the same impact!
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