The India Pavilion at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, set up by the National Film Development Corporation, got off to a quiet start with the India ambassador to France Mohan Kumar asserting that "Indian films need to make a bigger impact in Cannes". With joint secretary (films) Ashok Parmar, who was representing the information and broadcasting ministry, by his side, the envoy also fired a broadside at the world's top film festival. "Ignoring a film industry like Bollywood isn't a smart thing for Cannes to do." It would have been truly wonderful had India, which is celebrating its 70th Independence Day this year, been more visible in the Cannes Film Festival's 70th edition, Kumar quipped. "The landscape of Indian cinema is changing and the change is being driven by films made in South India. Cannes may be missing a trick or two here," Kumar said in a short address to a packed pavilion at the opening yesterday. In this context, he not only mentioned the fact that "Baahubali 2" has broken the Rs 1,000-crore barrier, he pointed to the imminent launch of the Tamil period film "Sanghamitra", scheduled to be announced in the Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market). Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu and the minister of state Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore could not make it to Cannes. C Senthil Rajan, director, Directorate of Film Festivals, who spoke at the Pavilion inauguration, threw light on the country's showpiece International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held in Goa for over a decade. Several other Indian activities are planned for the Cannes Film Festival this year, one of which took place yesterday.
It was hosted by Michelin-starred celeb chef Vikas Khanna to highlight "Buried Seeds", a documentary on his life's journey from Amritsar to New York. "Buried Seeds" is directed by the Moscow-born, New York- based Andrei Severny and co-produced by India's Jitendra Mishra. Also in the India Pavilion, Drishyam Films, which has achieved great success in breaking into festival lineups with its independent productions, will, on Monday, celebrate the selection of its head honcho Manish Mundra in Variety's '10 Producers to Watch'. On Sunday, Madhu Chopra, Bollywood/Hollywood actress Priyanka Chopra's mother, will be in the Pavilion to talk about the Sikkimese film Pahuna, produced by the Chopra home banner Purple Pebble Pictures. It deals with three Nepali children who end up in Sikkim after being separated from their parents while fleeing the Maoist violence in their country.
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