London: Indian director Anurag Kashyap, who is at the Cannes film festival to showcase one of his projects, is hoping to change the country’s reputation as ‘a joke’ at the event.
Kashyap`s five-hour epic named ‘The Gangs of Wasseypur’ is being premiered as a part of the Directors` Fortnight strand.
"The buzz is reassuring because we have often come here and were the big joke," the BBC quoted him as saying.
Indian film is often linked with Bollywood musicals, but many dramas have grabbed distribution deals at Cannes.
Kashyap insisted that the breadth of movies on offer in Cannes indicates how independent Indian cinema had changed. "There is a lot that is happening in India," he said.
Five Bollywood films will be screened at Cannes this year
"It``s going through real change in the kind of film-makers that are coming through and the kind of stories that are being told, the kinds of film being made and the kind of films that are working at the box office,” said the filmmaker.
Kashyap``s film, which had its world premiere at Cannes on Tuesday, is split into two and narrates the story of a bloody feud over several generations.
Bollywood still takes the major share of earnings at Indian box offices, but Kashyap insists that the internet is the main driver of cinematic change.
He asserted that more independent movies were now being seen by the audiences in India. "In India, it``s only Bollywood and Hollywood that find mainstream distribution.
"To see films which have been shown at festivals, people started going on to the internet to watch and started to be exposed to films they could relate to," he said.
European distribution deals have been announced for the likes of Ashim Ahluwalia``s ‘Miss Lovely’, which is showing in the Un Certain Regard section, besides this, ‘Monsoon Shootout’ from award-winning shorts director Amit Kumar.
Anand Gandhi``s philosophical drama ‘The Ship of Theseus’ is among the other movies that are being showed.
"This is great start, and if we keep on making cinema that reaches out to the globe, it will be very empowering," Kashyap added.