Cannes 2019: 1845 Indian Films were REJECTED at the Film Festival. Mira Nair Explains Why
Forget the fashion statements, when it came to movies Indian cinema fared badly at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world
Bollywood may have scored in fashion statements at the French Riviera in Cannes but when it comes to movies, most of the Indian films have been rejected for screening. A report says that 1,845 Indian movies were rejected at Cannes this year. The report further confirms that that for India, 99% of its entries didn’t make the cut.
A report in Pune Mirror revealed that as many as 1,845 Indian movies were submitted for consideration at Cannes this year (for it to be played at the festival) and none of them were thought to be good enough. In fact, just one short film titled Afternoon Clouds was selected to be played at the festival.
Directed by Payal Kapadia, a Pune Film Institute graduate, the film explores the world of Kaki, a 60-year-old widow who lives with her Nepali domestic help called Malti. The story begins one afternoon in their house when Malti meets a boy (a sailor) from her hometown unexpectedly and what happens then is what the movie is all about.
Unlike earlier years, Cannes 2019 didn’t even have any Indian judges. In the past, eminent Bollywood personalities like Chetan Anand, director Mrinal Sen, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, director Mira Nair, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, critically-acclaimed actress Nandita Das and Vidya Balan have been part of the decision-making team at Cannes.
Filmmaker Mira Nair, whose film Salaam Bombay had not only played at Cannes in 1988, but also won the Camera D’Or as well as the Audience Award, revealed in a recent interview that the taste and agenda of the selection committee at Cannes doesn’t align with the kind of Indian cinema being made today. In an interview with Hindustan Times, "It’s not necessarily because Indian filmmakers are doing anything wrong but it's because the tastes and agendas of the selection committee and that of Indian cinema don’t necessarily align." She said that post Salaam Bombay, some of her own films like the excellent Monsoon Wedding and The Namesake were rejected by Cannes. "Monsoon Wedding ended up winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival so that story ended well."