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Cannes 2019: Bollywood films missing from the prestigious film festival – what’s ailing the industry?

Cannes which is one of the most prestigious international film festivals is barely registering any Indian presence in the movie circuit this year

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While Bollywood has been making its presence felt on the fashion front at the ongoing 72nd Cannes Film Festival, what hasn’t gone unnoticed is the fact that there is barely any representation from our Indian film industry when it comes to cinema. In fact, it’s almost like the most prestigious film festival generates our interest only as far as the red carpet goes and not to the theatres where the red carpet leads to. All one sees and hears about is what our film stars are going to wear and walk in at the red carpet.

So why is there such a depletion of Indian content at the film festival? Veteran journalist Saibal Chatterjee points out certain issues plaguing the film industry here. He says, “The problem lies in two areas – one relates to how the government does little to support independent cinema (unlike the governments of many smaller countries). The other issue is the superficial manner in which Indian media covers the Cannes festival. The emphasis is only on fashion, on numbers rather than quality. But we must note that this is the first time this decade that India does not have a single film in Cannes’ official selection. Since Udaan in 2010, India has had a film every year here until last year with Manto.”

The hyped India Pavilion is not of any use for international filmmakers, as it is more about Indians using the space to only showcase their films. We haven’t really had great success stories where in a film has been picked up and that has made it big internationally. National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das is there with her film Village Rockstars and Guneet Monga whose film has won the Oscar is probably the only one who is on the world cinema radar today. Her film Period End of Sentence won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.

The India Pavilion is more about getting the world to come and shoot in India. A special IFFI poster marking its Golden Jubilee edition with a film guide showcasing the importance of the film ecosystem and government incentives to shoot in India was released at the festival recently. Prasoon Joshi even admitted this year that India requires far greater creative presence in the Cannes Film Festival.

GK Desai, a filmmaker who is also a regular at Cannes says, “It’s a very dampening spirit at Cannes this year and the general mood here is rather low, which I have never seen in the past. The kind of cinema that the festival selects is of really high quality, so the chance of an Indian film to be on the list is really slim. One of the main reasons why the participation and selection of Indian films is depleting at the international festival especially Cannes is that we no longer have masters like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. The platform is now being used by brands only to promote themselves which  has celebrity quotient.”

So what is the Indian Pavilion all about and what happens there every year. Desai informs, “Every country has its pavilion so does India. This time IFFI is managing the show, so there is government support but not many films to promote or sell in the international market. So they are ending up selling locations and co-production proposals to the foreigners.”

Desai adds, “I met Anurag Kashyap, who is probably one of the few people who has been in the international circuit but he too was there just to launch some app, so now you know where we are heading in terms of making our presence felt internationally. I dont see any masters coming out of India to impress the international world.”

Reacting to a comment by senior journalist on Cannes turning into Chandivali Studio, Desai said, “It is one thing for the journalist to make a cheeky remark, but let me tell you it is not easy to make an entry on the red carpet. You will either have to spend money or get a big sponsor to be there. Nobody can just walk the red carpet.”

So, while the presence of the fashionistas can’t be overlooked, the fact that our cinema is failing to grab the same attention should be our wake-up call for sure.


Salman Khan – Alia Bhatt starrer Inshallah not happening? Find out!

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Inshallah was to release on Eid 2020, but Salman Khan says it is pushed. Will it happen at all?

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Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt

Super star Salman Khan took to social media yesterday and wrote, “The film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali is pushed but I will still see you all on Eid, 2020. Insha-Allah!!’ Bollywood denizens went berserk after reading this tweet from Salman. According to sources Sanjay Leela Bhansali was to start shooting of the film from this week with Alia Bhatt on a set that is being constructed at Mehboob studios in Mumbai, a stone’s throw from Salman’s residence. Also the locations and local production team are finalised in the USA! Titled Inshallah, the film is supposed to be a remake of the Hollywood hit Pretty Woman.

In his tweet, Salman hinted at another announcement of a film for which he is likely to start shooting and plans to take the release date of Bhansali. There is intense speculation that the release date could be assigned to Dabangg 3, shooting for which is already in progress.

Bhansali fans are left wondering what will happen to the film now, considering that Salman has given away the dates in all probability to another film. Hope it is not creative differences that has led to the push of Inshallah! For more gossip from Bollywood’s inside track, keep reading CineBlitz!

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Angel Has Fallen is raising the bar of the Fallen Series

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Secret Service agents live in a constant state of high alert. At any given second, they have to be ready to thwart a near-infinite number of potential threats that could come from any country, any group, or any person, without warning.  Their sacrifices—the persistent danger, the merciless demands on body and soul, the stress on their relationships—are rarely recognised publicly, but they don’t do it for the recognition.  They do it because they are driven to serve the highest office of the land and the bedrock of democracy.

That kind of devotion has always defined Mike Banning in the movie Angel has Fallen. On the job, he is a cunning, dogged, laser-focused patriot, but he is also a self-questioning and at times a self-deprecating man who has his dark corners of jagged regrets and frustrations.  He has done and seen it all.  In Olympus Has Fallen, he rescued the First Family from a North Korean-led kidnapping inside the White House.  In London Has Fallen, he kept President Asher from harm during a terrorist attack on world leaders attending the British Prime Minister’s funeral.

Also read: Angel Has Fallen: Audiences will connect with Mike Banning, says Producer Les Weldon

Director Ric Roman Waugh jumped right away at the idea of exploring Mike Banning not just in jeopardy but in a chaotic state of mind.  He knew from making That Which I Love Destroys Me that a man like Banning would, like so many real-life warriors in the military and law enforcement worlds, have to pay the piper for the mental, physical and spiritual toll of his work.

Also read: Actress Piper Perabo’s charming revelation about Gerard Butler!

“What I learned making the doc is that there are a lot of modern-day warriors who have a different kind of PTSD,” explains the director.  “It’s not the classic shellshock where they are running away from war. Instead, they’ve become addicted to war, to the intensity of it, and that makes it harder for them to return to society and everyday life.  We made the documentary about members of the military, but after it premiered, I started hearing from all kinds of other people, from first responders and law enforcement and more, talking about how they were going through the same thing. So, I felt from the beginning that this would be a very authentic and interesting journey to take with Mike Banning.  He is, as he’s told in the film, a lion, but there are consequences to always being a lion.”

Butler loved Waugh’s approach to the action. “Ric’s style is all about putting you smack in the middle of the chaos,” Butler explains. “He sucks you in with a gritty realism—so that even in the most insane scenarios, you feel you are right there in the moment with Banning.” For more updates from Bollywood and show business keep reading CineBlitz.

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Scoop! Anushka Sharma cast opposite Hrithik Roshan in remake of Satte Pe Satta!

Anushka Sharma has been finalised to play the female lead in the Satte Pe Satta remake, originally played by Hema Malini

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Anushka Sharma

Bollywood has been buzzing with the big news that Anushka Sharma has committed to play the lead role opposite Hrithik Roshan in the remake of Satte Pe Satta. While she has consciously decided to cut down on work nowadays, but the actress is going to honour two big commitments, Satte Pe Satta being one of them.

This is also going to be an exciting and fresh pairing as Hrithik and Anushka have never worked together. Initially, actresses like Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone were approached for the role, but the makers felt a new pairing was needed for the film.

Released in the 80’s, the original Satte Pe Satta itself was inspired by the American musical film Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. The Bollywood version Satte Pe Satta featured Amitabh Bachchan in a double role with Hema Malini and Ranjeeta cast opposite him. The new remake is now being directed by Farah Khan and produced by Rohit Shetty. Stay glued to CineBlitz for more news and updates from Bollywood.

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