Interview: Nandita Das...

By Ranvir Nayar, IANS

imageCannes, May 23 (IANS) Indian

actress Nandita Das, who is thrilled about her Cannes experience as a member of the film jury here, vows she won't let it go

to her head.

"Being on the Cannes jury is a great honour and privilege for me. It is a great opportunity just to be here and a huge

learning experience since you meet great people from all over the world who are certainly among the best in the world of

cinema today," Nandita told IANS in an interview even as the festival ended here Sunday.

"It is a great experience, but in the larger scheme of things, it is another one of those very enriching experiences," she


The actress brushed aside suggestions that Cannes will propel her into international limelight or that she will be flooded

with offers from all over the world, especially from Hollywood.

"Even if I get offers from Hollywood, it does not mean that I will accept them. I have always stood by what I believe in.

I want to act in films with great scripts, great directors and great roles. I don't want to take on a role just because it is being proposed to me," she said.

Participating in an international film festival in France is not new to the actress-activist. She was presented with the

best actress award for her role in Deepa Mehta's "Earth" in the Asian Film Festival of Deauville over five years ago.

But Cannes is at a totally different level and Nandita acknowledges the fact and the impact. For her the surprise

selection of being on the jury could not have come at a better time.

"This has come at a stage when I am starting to look at films from a broader perspective, more than as an actor. I am

thinking of getting involved in other aspects of film making like directing. So getting to Cannes and getting an exposure to

this rich collection of films is well-timed for me," said Nandita, picking at her fruit-salad breakfast at the Majestic hotel

in Cannes.

"It has been hard work, but enjoyable. As jury member, we had to watch two to three films everyday and after every five

screenings, there was a meeting where all jury members discussed the films very passionately and openly.

"Besides the jury activities, there were other meetings and the obligatory parties. Though I tried to limit the number of

parties I went to, many of my colleagues partied till 5 a.m. each day and then were ready for the new day at 9 a.m. again,"

said Nandita.

Though the jury was composed of film personalities from across the world, she said they all worked very well together.

"Right from the second day itself, we became a great team. We share a wonderful chemistry. There is a lot of humour in our

intensive discussions too," Nandita said.

Of all the female celebrities present at Cannes, she must have been amongst those carrying the least amount of wardrobe


"When I landed at the airport, they had sent two cars, one for us and the other for our luggage. The driver must have been

disappointed when he saw me with only two big suitcases, even though I thought that I was carrying a lot of baggage for only

10 days," Nandita recounted.

"At home I am comfortable in anything - jeans, skirts and salwar kameez. But when I dress up for an occasion, it is always

in Indian clothes. I wasn't sure what to wear here, but thanks to the advice of some friends and offers from some designers,

I have a fair collection of clothes now, including Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar, Rajesh Pratap, Namrata

Joshipura and Priyanka Singh."

Nandita will head from Cannes to London to begin work on Jagmohan Mundhra's next film, "Provoked'', which is based on the

true-life story of a woman battered by her husband.

The actress said she is strongly opposed to violence and that she would like to do films that fight the increasing trend

of violence and sex in the world.