By Tanuj Garg (from Cannes), IndiaFM
The Cannes Film Festival, one of the most prestigious international film festivals, kick started yesterday, May 16. The festival, which will go on till May 27, will see an array of the best of world cinema.
The festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Coincidentally, India also celebrates 60 years of Independence this year and is therefore the focus at the festival.
This year, India is all set to make its presence felt at Cannes yet again. As many as eight Indian films will be showcased this year including an official short film entry. Some of the biggest hits of this year are to be screened at the Tous les Cinémas du Monde section.
Tanuj Garg, senior columnist and international movies professional at Studio 18, will give some quick daily pointers in the midst of his busy Cannes schedule, over the key festival dates…..only for IndiaFM.
* Like all day ones, the festival started on a slow note with people warming up, touring the Palais & Riviera. Many wondered if this was going to be the overall mood of the festival but there was solace when veterans said that the momentum of business would pick up from Day 2 (today).
* The presence of Indian companies is at full throttle, specifically with India being the main focus at the Cannes this year. Bollywood banners like Eros, UTV, Shemaroo, Sa Re Ga Ma, Adlabs and Studio 18, to name a few, have their own stands.
* Interestingly, Indian companies are beginning to spend a lot on advertising, press and stand designing. And with a proliferation of market literature in recent years, you can't miss either an advert or a news snippet to do with an Indian company.
* Over the years, the big boys (key buyers, studios, sales agents, etc.) appear to be shifting their offices/stands from the main festival to hotels and private residences so that they can focus on streamlined business and avoid the nuisance/glut of random passers-by and walk-ins!
* The Cannes opening party tonight promises to be a well-attended event, though only one representative per company has been permitted
* The event that everyone's looking forward to, especially in Bollywood circles, is the India party at The Majestic Beach on Friday. It promises to have more than 700 attendees and be a fancy affair though there doesn't seem to be much quality control….Every other person is claiming to have an invite!
* Wednesday night saw the premiere of Wong Kar Wai's Jude Law-Natalie Portman film My Blueberry Nights. The film also stars singer Norah Jones, daughter of Pandit Ravi Shankar. The red carpet was quite a grand affair in true Cannes tradition, unlike the film, which hasn't bagged splendid reviews from several critics. [Jude Law, accompanied by his assistant and PR person, was seated on the row ahead of me on my flight from London to Nice - an affable and chilled out guy - enjoyed exchanging a few words with him…]
* Abhishek & Aishwarya were at the Zurich Airport and made their way to Cannes for the premiere of My Blueberry Nights courtesy of a famous make-up brand but Preity Zinta ended up bagging a cart-load of photographer attention courtesy of Chopard. Looked like she was clad in a green Valentino - with her was Aarti Surendranath in a Karen Millen outfit and Chopard jewellery.
* John Abraham and Bipasha Basu are here (apparently)
* Ashok Amritraj is having a yacht party, according to hearsay
* An Indian film company that was planning to throw a party has aborted its plans due to unavoidable circumstances, or so it seems
* The CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) stand has a banner that talks about 2500% growth of the Indian industry or something to this effect. It has a picture of Ganesh Hegde to go with it. Puzzling!