#IndiaAtCannes: The India Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival and Market is a home away home for Indian filmmakers, says Arun Chawla, director general, FICCI

#IndiaAtCannes: The India Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival and Market is a home away home for Indian filmmakers, says Arun Chawla, director general, FICCI

This year’s Cannes Film Festival, to be held from May 17 to May 28, will have India as the Country of Honour. We speak to Arun Chawla, director general, Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), about India’s participation at Cannes.

What is the main theme or projection of India Pavilion this year at Cannes? How will we showcase India as content hub for the world?

India has been named as the official Country of Honour at the 2022 Marche du Film – Festival de Cannes. India will be spotlighted through several of the Marche du Films’ industry programs, along with other initiatives planned this year. This includes world premier screening of five films — Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, directed by R Madhavan; Alpha Beta Gamma, directed by Shankar Srikumar; Godavari, directed by Nikhil Mahajan; Boombra Ride, directed by Biswajeet Bora; Niraye Thathakalull A Maram, directed by Jayaraj and Dhun, directed by Achal Mishra.

This year, the India Pavilion at Cannes will also organise a start-up pitching session, ‘Cannes Next’ — an executive conference and innovation-driven business development platform exploring the future of the entertainment sector. This is a new segment inspired by top-tier visionaries and decision-makers through a tailor-made series of inspiring conferences, keynotes, and panel discussions; to grow your network with creatives, clients, and tech companies, among our various events.

Film Bazaar and India’s National Film Development Corporation will present their special selection of feature films in post-production, still looking for sales agents, distributors or festival exposure. These films are under development looking for potential investors and founders. India has been given an opportunity to pitch 5 selected movies at the ‘Goes to Cannes Section’. These include Baghjan by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia; Bailadila by Shailendra Sahu; Ek Jagah Apni by Ektara Collective; Follower by Harshad Nalawade; and Shivamma by Jai Shankar.

What is the role of FICCI at India Pavilion in Cannes?

FICCI has been managing India Pavilion for the last eight years. It supported the Ministry [of Information and Broadcasting] through managing online India Pavilion in the last two years when this film market took place virtually. FICCI manages all the activities, including interactive sessions, trailers and posters launches, networking evenings, etc. The round table meetings with global film festivals, film commissions, film funds and other global production houses are organised for the benefit of Indian delegates. FICCI also takes care of the publicity of the activities of India Pavilion across all platforms like outdoor, print publicity, publicity on the website, publicity through catalogues and brochures etc.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has undertaken lot of initiatives along with FICCI for the Indian Pavilion at Cannes. Can you highlight some of them?

The Ministry sets up India Pavilion to make a home out of home for the Indian film makers who attend the Cannes Film Festival and Market. Meetings of the film commissions world leaders in the Media and Entertainment space with the officials of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at Cannes Film Market provided policy inputs to support filming activities in India. Further the meetings with the Global Film Festival heads have helped in improving India’s visibility in the Global Film Festivals on the one hand and enriching the content of The International Film Festival of India on the other. Business meetings of the Indian Delegates with those from other countries at India Pavilion have helped boost co-production activities between Indian film makers and their global counterparts, funding opportunities for the Indian film makers and getting the Indian films picked up by the sales agents for international releases as well as inclusion in various film festivals.

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Author: Shirley