France and India to celebrate India Day at Cannes 2019

Although Hollywood remains the reference in cinema, far more movies are actually produced outside the US. The two main producers are the EU and India. At this year’s Cannes Film festival (May 8-19), two powerhouses of world cinema will be sharing the spotlight.

Following a joint statement by the prime minister of India and president of France, the Embassy of France in India and UniFrance (the body that promotes French films abroad) will organise the first ‘India Day’ at Terrasse UniFrance, Cannes on May 11 2019.

French and Indian film industries

“This will mark the first of the regular professional meetings bringing together the French and Indian film industries, offering them opportunities to collaborate on common projects as well as augment the sales and distribution of Indian and French films,” it said.

In parallel, India’s Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani will inaugurate the India Pavilion, organised in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to provide a platform for stakeholders to market their films.

Among the professionals that will attend ‘India Day’ will be actor-director Nandita Das (a former jury member) for her biopic “Manto”, which features actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the Urdu author, and Ken Scott, director of the Indo-French co-production “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” along with actor Dhanush, who makes his international debut in this film. Rohena Gera will also be attending with her debut feature film “Sir” featuring actress Tillotama Shome and Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna for his directorial debut “The Last Color”.

Nonetheless, despite a strong cinema sector, India has yet to make a significant mark in the actual selection for the coveted Palme d’Or award. I would argue that this is just a question of time.

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