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`Kavi` to be screened at Cannes film festival

Mumbai: After an Oscar nomination, `Kavi` the story of an Indian slave boy, has now made it to the prestigious Cannes film festival.

The 19-minute-long film by American director Gregg Helvey will be screened in the Short Film Corner at the 63rd edition of the festival.

"Kavi will be screening in the Short Film Corner at Cannes. Many people are learning about modern slavery for the first time with the film and Cannes will be a big platform," Helvey said.

The film had lost out the Oscar trophy to the Danish entry `The New Tenants` in the Best Short Film (Live Action) category.

`Kavi` which was shot on a shoe string budget with an Indian cast near Mumbai, would add to the `desi` presence on the French Riviera.

The Indian flavour will be lent to the festival with filmmaker Shekhar Kapur on the feature film jury along with heavy-weights like Tim Burton and Benicio Del Torro.

Indian director Vikramaditya Motwane`s debut film `Udaan` will also be screened at the festival, while Bollywood beauties Aishwarya Rai and Mallika Sherawat will walk the red carpet.

`Kavi` marks Helvey`s debut as a filmmaker and the young director is now preparing to do a full feature length film on the issue of bonded labour.

Helvey who has already won the Student Academy Awards for the film, says that the key to the film`s appeal is it`s authenticity.

"India is dear to my heart, so it was incredibly important for me to make Kavi as authentic as possible. My film shows that Indians are helping Indians to stop the injustice of modern-day slavery. It`s been an exciting month with Kavi winning awards at the Student Emmy`s, USC`s First Look, Aspen and more," said the 30-year-old filmmaker.

Helvey, who first came to India 7 years ago for the shooting of a BBC documentary, spent a year visiting brick kilns and meeting child workers. The journey was a tedious one and interestingly the film which took three years to make, was shot in just 7 days.

PTI

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