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Cannes 2022: India to be Country of Honour; Satyajit Ray’s ‘Pratidwandi’ to be Screened

The upcoming edition of the Cannes International Film Festival will celebrate India as the country of honour at its Marché du Film (Film Market). The festival will also feature an exclusive screening of late filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s 1970 film Pratidwandi (The Adversary).


It is notable that this year marks the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival as well as 75 years of Indian independence.

This is the first time that the Cannes Film Market has an official country of honour. Future editions of the festival will continue this new tradition with different nations honoured each year.

The India Forum is set to be the first event of the market’s conference program. It will include a panel discussion on the topic India: The Content Hub of the World, featuring Apurva Chandra, the Indian government’s Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Prasoon Joshi, Chair of India’s Central Board of Film Certification; and Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

“We are taking giant strides in making India the content hub of the world, and this collaboration will be crucial in making the world better acquainted with what India has to offer,” Chandra stated.

The first day of the event will also see an introduction from market executive directors Jérôme Paillard and Guillaume Esmiol and a welcome address from Anurag Singh Thakur, India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

Meanwhile, Ray’s Pratidwandi has been chosen for an exclusive screening at this year’s Cannes festival.

“Right as the Marché du Film chose India as country of honour this year, a brand new restoration of Indian director-writer Satyajit Ray’s rare movie Pratidwandi will be presented in an exclusive screening. Present at the Festival de Cannes since 1956 with Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray has left his mark on the world of cinema with his great body of work,” the festival’s organisers said.

Pratidwandi follows the story of Siddharta, an educated middle-class man caught up in social unrest due to rampant corruption and unemployment. Siddharta cannot align himself with either his revolutionary activist brother or his career-oriented sister. The film features actors Dhritiman Chatterjee, Debraj Ray, Krishna Bose, Indira Devi, Kalyan Chowdhury, Joysree Roy, and Sefali.

The 1970 film is also renowned for experimenting with techniques such as photo-negative flashbacks.

Pratidwandi is presented by the National Film Development Corporation’s (NFDC) National Film Archive of India, and has been restored under the Indian Government’s National Film Heritage Mission. The restoration was carried out by Prime Focus Technologies in Mumbai, and was supervised by cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee.


Aside from Pratidwandi, the NFDC and Film Bazaar will also present a selection of feature films in post-production, which are looking for sales agents, distributors or festival exposure, at the Goes to Cannes event. Five Indian start-ups will also display their projects, along with a pitching session, which will highlight India’s latest innovations.

Additionally, actor Deepika Padukone will serve as an international jury member at the festival.

Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes will also be a part of Cannes’ Special Screenings section, while Aravindan Govindan’s The Circus Tent will feature in Cannes’ Classics line-up.

The Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to be held from May 17 to May 28.