India named Country of Honour at Cannes, industry reacts

Industry insiders react as India gets selected as official Country of Honour at the 75th Cannes Film Festival this year.

The Indian film industry has a reason to be proud. In what’s a first, India will be the ‘country of honour’ at the Marché Du Film, organised alongside the 75th Cannes Film Festival this year.

Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur shared the news in a press release, “It is the first time the Marché du Film has an official Country of Honour, and this special focus will continue annually with different nations in the spotlight at future editions.”

People from within the industry are naturally rejoicing at this news. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar says, “It’s a great honor for India, it’s a matter of great prestige to be on the global map. India is one of the biggest film industries in the world, we churn out so many movies and already made a mark with so many of them. Indian films are loved everywhere.”

Producer Pritish Nandy concurs when he adds, “It’s a great honour for India to be a part of the Cannes 75 years celebrations and the fact that India’s 75 years celebration coincides with it makes it a double event which should make all Indians and the Indian film industry proud. I have a few issues though which I think need attention. The film industry employs a vast number of talented people, many of whom are not even matriculate or graduate, and come from remote areas. The government must pay special attention to this industry to make it stronger.”

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal notes that an association with a film festival like Cannes is a big honour. “Practically all filmmaking countries of the world compete here. Any film that gets an award at Cannes has tremendous potential to not only be marketed well but they also get wonderful buyers from all around the world. That is equally important,” he states.

Onir laughs and says he was hoping the 75th year happened next year because he wanted to take his film to Cannes. ”It’s a film festival which is respected and admired, and the focus on Indian cinema would be really nice. The awareness about Indian cinema is not as much as world cinema, it’s time to have the balance where there is much more awareness,” he says.

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