The upcoming edition of the Cannes International Film Festival, which will be held from May 17 to May 28, is set to celebrate India as the country of honour at its Marché du Film (Film Market). 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. Actor Deepika Padukone will also serve as an international jury member at the festival.
Satyajit Ray’s 1970 film Pratidwandi (The Adversary) has also been chosen for an exclusive screening at the festival. It 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.
On that note, Silverscreen India brings to you, a list of Indian films to look out for, at the upcoming festival.
All That Breathes
Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes follows two siblings, Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad, who have devoted their lives to rescuing and treating injured birds, especially black kites. In January, the 90-minute long film won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, a film gala that promotes independent cinema and filmmakers. Sen’s film is a part of the Special Screenings line-up at Cannes.
The Tale of a Santa and His Moth
Directed by Aneek Chaudhuri, The Tale of a Santa and His Moth is a take on the perspectives of third-world countries on war, and its subsequent effects on them. The story revolves around a father named Pedro (Pawan Chopra) and his ailing daughter (Usha Banerjee). Pedro used to play fancy characters at people’s parties. But when the time comes for him to choose between his job and taking care of his daughter, he chooses the latter.
In an earlier conversation with Silverscreen India, Chaudhuri explained the title and said, “The father’s role is that of a Santa to his daughter, who asks him for the cake. The ‘moth’ reference is because moths are a species that die very soon,” and added that the film was initially conceived as a short film.
A Place of One’s Own
Directed and produced by the Ektara Collective, A Place of One’s Own delves into the lives of two trans women, Laila and Roshni, who look for a house, after being evicted from a place that they had rented. “It soon becomes evident that their search for a home is also their ongoing search for a place in this society that wants to keep them away in a section that cannot be the center,” reads Cannes’ official synopsis of the film.
This Assamese-language film, directed by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia, deals with the real-life incidents of the 2020 gas and oil leak in Assam’s Baghjan area. “Fisherman Manab lives with his wife Bharabi in a small village, Baghjan, which is a fertile oil & gas field. One day during oil extraction a massive blast takes place and the entire village catches fire that has devastating consequences,” reads the film’s official synopsis.
Baghjan is a work-in-progress and is expected to be completed in 2023.
Directed by Shailendra Sahu, Bailadila tells the tale of 10-year-old Rinku and his elder brother Jiten, who is a passionate artist caught up in a miserable teaching job. “Rinku finds himself at the threshold of boyhood after losing his mother, moving in with his brother and experiences many things for the first time,” reads the official synopsis.
Harshad Nalawade’s Follower looks into the story of a journalist, who believes in exposing the atrocities faced by his community. “But as the line between his professional and personal life blurs, an inconvenient truth makes him reflect back on a simpler time when he had not yet succumbed to radicalization,” adds the film’s synopsis.
Directed by Jai Shankar and produced by Kannada actor Rishab Shetty, Shivamma narrates the story of a 46-year-old poverty-stricken woman of the same name, who invests in a network marketing business to make some quick money. However, it puts her daughter’s imminent marriage at stake.
Le Musk is directed by Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman, who has also composed the film’s music. The film features actors Nora Arnezeder and Guy Burnet in prominent roles. An ode to music and memory, Le Musk deals with revenge.
“Dipping into the abstract trenches of the woman’s psyche, Le Musk constructs a compelling world of music and scent that lay bare sinister and pure motives. As Juliet searches for the four men — the injured, the tattooed, the poacher, and the ‘Musk’ — she must come face to face with the price of her purpose and confront the persistent presence of the past,” reads the film’s official synopsis.
The film is born out of a conversation between the music director and his wife Saira Rahman, both of whom share a love for perfumes and have employed scent as a narrative device.
Le Musk will be presented at the Cannes XR section.
Directed by Pratham Khurana, Nauha (to grieve) is the coming-of-age story of a 22-year-old man named Kishan, and his experiences of taking care of a 75-year-old dying man, Babuji. The film is presented by the Whistling Woods Internation school of filmmaking, and will be presented in Cannes’ Cinefondation section.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect
Alpha Beta Gamma
Tree Full of Parrots
It is to be noted, however, that Rocketry, Godavari, Boomba Ride, Dhuin, Tree Full of Parrots, and Alpha Beta Gamma have not made it to the any of the official selections at the festival, and are just a part of the line-up of Indian films to be screened at the festival.
In addition to the aforementioned films, the first-look posters of Pa Ranjith‘s film Vettuvam, and Sandeep Singh’s Safed will also debut at the festival.