This year, the only Indian presence at the Cannes Film Festival, running from July 6 to 17, will be the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Other than this, there are no Indian movies, and probably no Indian delegates or journalists, given that the country is in the red list and anybody from here arriving in France will have to isolate for about a week. A tall requirement!
Also, there will be no India Pavilion on the beach.
The NFDC will present seven projects at Marche du Film or Cannes Film Market. They are Dengue by Prantik Basu (India, Netherlands), Rasa (Immerse) by Anjali Menon (India), Kuhiro Pariko Sahar (A Hidden Tale Behind The Mist) by Pasang Dawa Sherpa (Nepal), Moving Bangladesh by Nuhash Humayun (Bangladesh), Last Time On Earth by Paromita Dhar (India, France), Ghol (The Catch) by Rishi Chandna (India) and Second Chance by Subhadra Mahajan (India).
These will be pitched to international buyers and financiers on July 9.
A brief look at the projects.
Dengue (Bengali, Hindi, English) by Prantik Basu weaves a homosexual romance between a young migrant worker and a medical student during a sudden summer storm in Kolkata.
Rasa/ Immerse (Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, English) helmed by Anjali Menon talks about a young Nepali maid working in a South Indian home who falls in love with the classical Bharatanatyam dance form.
Kuhiro Pariko Sahar/A Hidden Tale behind the Mist (Nepali) from Pasang Dawa Sherpa narrates how a 21-year-old woman takes great care of her paralysed husband, who is indifferent to her love. When he finally recovers, she encounters an unexpected reality.
Moving Bangladesh (Bengali) directed by Nuhash Humayun plots the story of a struggling entrepreneur who finds a way to beat traffic snarls in his country.
Last Time On Earth (Bengali, French) by Paromita Dhar traces the story of a lowly migrant worker who toils in the city, but never fails to dream big.
Ghol/ The Catch ( Gujarati, Hindi, English) made by Rishi Chandna tells us the tale of a fisherman, who becomes a millionaire overnight when he nets a shoal of rare and prized Gol fish.
Second Chance (Hindi) created by Subhadra Mahajan is all about a depressed girl who visits her family home in the Himalayas and a chance meeting with a visitor pushes her to give herself a second chance.
The NFDC holds an annual five-day Film Bazaar that runs along with the International Film Festival of India at Goa’s Panaji. The last one was postponed from its usual November dates to early this year because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and was held online.
(Author and movie critic Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the NFDC Film Bazaar for several years)