India`s no show at 64th Cannes Film Festival

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 16:10 PM IST

Cannes: India is one of the largest film producing nations with an output of over 1,000 movies every year, but not a single film from the country features in the 49 selected for the Cannes Film Festival next month.

This year`s bouquet has films from 33 countries that will be shown during the 64th edition of the 11-day festival that will be kickstarted May 11 by Woody Allen`s "Midnight In Paris", said a statement on the festival`s official website.

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, a regular at the Cannes film fest red carpet since 2002, will represent India this time as well.

Allen`s romantic comedy, shot in the French capital, brings together a broad international cast, including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard, as well as Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Gad Elmaleh and Lea Seydoux.

This year European movies dominate the competition section, but a few others have also made it to the prestigious list, including Israeli director Josef Cedar`s "Footnote"; two Japanese films - "Hanezu No Tsuki" by Naomi Kawase and "Ichimei" by Takashi Miike.

The festival organisers have roped in American actor-director-producer Robert De Niro as president of the jury of the Festival de Cannes. Director Michel Gondry will head the short film and Cinefondation jury; and Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica will be president of the Un Certain Regard jury.

French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo will also be honoured at the gala.

Last year Indian director Vikramaditya Motwane`s "Udaan" was screened at the festival in the Un Certain Regard section and became the first film to represent India in the Cannes official section in the last seven years.

But this year not a single film has managed to enter the list and the same was the case in 2009.

In 2008, Dev Anand`s classic "Guide" and Tamil actor Ajith starrer "Billa", were showcased in the Cannes Classic and marketing sections respectively. Manoj Srivastava`s short film "Hum Panchhi Ek Daal Ke", which was about lifestyle of street children in Delhi, was selected in the Short Film Corner section.

In 2007, Satyajit Ray Film Institute graduate Raka Dutta`s 28-minute film "Chinese Whispers" became the only movie that`s been selected for the students` short film section by jury members for Cinefondation - a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the work of student filmmakers in postgraduate programmes.

Shaji N. Karun`s Malayalam film "Swaham" (My Own) was the last movie to enter the competition in 1994 and was nominated for the Golden Palm. In 2003, Murali Nair`s "Arimpara" was screened in the Un Certain section.

India made an impressive start at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946 when Chetan Anand`s "Neecha Nagar" was shown in the competition section and walked away with the Grand Prix award.

After that, there was lull for almost a decade. Satyajit Ray`s "Pather Panchali" broke the dry spell by winning the Best Human Document Award.

In the following years, filmmakers like K.A. Abbas ("Pardesi"), M.S. Sathyu ("Garam Hawa"), Mrinal Sen ("Ek Din Pratidin") and Shyam Benegal ("Nishant"), who made thought-provoking films with courageous and imaginative stories, were nominated in different competition sections at Cannes.