The 2018 edition of the world’s most glamorous film festival, Festival de Cannes, kicks off on the French Riviera from Tuesday. Scheduled to run from May 8 to 19, the highly anticipated event is expected to bring many surprises this year as a whole lot of new-gen directors are in the running for the festival’s coveted honours.
India will be represented at the prestigious film jamboree by Nandita Das’s biographical drama Manto (starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the legendary Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto) and Rohena Gera’s Sir (starring Tillotama Shome as a domestic worker who falls for the son of her upper-class employers) in the Un Certain Regard and Critics Week categories respectively.
Interestingly, four National Award-winning regional films have also been hand-picked for screening by the official Indian delegation heading to Cannes 2018. With the aim of celebrating the exceptional talent in India’s regional cinema, these four films will be showcased at the festival’s India Pavilion, organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with FICCI.
Here are the four amazing regional films selected for Cannes 2018. If you haven’t seen them yet, check the out now!
1. Village Rockstars
A coming-of-age Assamese film written, edited, co-produced, and directed by self-taught fimmaker Rima Das, Village Rockstars is about a little girl in a village in Assam who wants to own a guitar and form a band. A story of hope and profound simplicity, this refreshingly original movie has been shot in the nondescript hamlet of Chhaygaon, with the cast being made up of mostly local villagers.
Incredibly, apart from winning the National Award 2018 for best film, Village Rockstars also won the awards for best editing, best location sound, and best child actor.
Made by ace Malayalam film-maker Jayaraj, Bhayanakam bagged three awards – best director, best adapted screenplay and best cinematography – at the 65th National Film Awards. The beautifully depicted film is based on a chapter in Kayar, the epci novel written by Jnanpith award-winning Malayalam writer Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.
Through the life of a postman (played by Renji Panicker), Bhayanakam tells the story of Kuttanad in the pre-Independence era when youths in large numbers joined the British India army to fight in World War II.
Made in Jeseri (the dialect of Malayalam spoken in Lakshadweep) by short film director Sandeep Pampally, Sinjar bagged the titles of the Best Jeseri Film and the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Director at the 65th National Film Awards. The movie traces the journey of two housemaids in Iraq who are taken hostages by the ISIS along with the Yazidi women and flee from captivity only to end in a closed society.
Interestingly, the film takes its name from the Sinjar massacre of 2014, in which thousands of Yazidi men and women were targetted by ISIS terrorists.
4. Nagar Kirtan
Helmed by acclaimed director Kaushik Ganguly, Bengali film ‘Nagar Kirtan’ won big at the 65th National Film Awards, with four honours to its credit – Special Jury, Best Actor, Best Costume and Best Makeup Artist. The moving drama revolves around a flute player, played by Ritwik Chakraborty and a transgender, played by Riddhi Sen.
The movie also stars Manabi Bandyopadhyay, Bengal’s first transgender to complete a PhD and become a professor. She is also India’s first transgender college principal. Read more about her here.