For cinema enthusiasts, all the red carpets lead to the French Riviera for the 64th Annual Cannes film festival that kicked off on Wednesday, 11th May 2011. Over the next 11 days, excitement in the air is palpable for the fantastic line-up of films, eclectic mix of artistes, but more prominently when you have legend Robert De Niro leading the jury; it’s bound to be nothing less that explosive.
Better defined as the melting pot of cinema, many Bollywood celebs desire to be on the high-rank list of invitees each year, but just a few select make the cut. Including regulars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Frieda Pinto, Mallika Sherawat, the debutants on the red carpet from the Indian fraternity this year comprise of Saif Ali Khan, Minisha Lamba, Karan Johar, Rani Mukherjee and Sonam Kapoor, who will be making their presence felt on different days, not attending the festival to promote or support their films, but rather to represent the brands or causes that they endorse.
Though Aishwarya, in her 10th year at the Croisette, has been the ‘Indian face’ representing the country for a decade at the festival, barring select films, there has been a dearth of Indian films making it to the competition of the official sections of the festival. Nevertheless, this year, marking Indian Cinema’s presence, a documentary titled ‘Bollywood: the Greatest Love Story Ever Told‘ will be screened at the festival. Co-produced by Shekhar Kapur in association UTV, directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Jeff Zimbalist, the 81-minute documentary celebrates Bollywood’s journey through the years.
While Aishwarya, Saif, Minissha attended the opening gala cocktail and events at Cannes on May 11, Sonam Kapoor will walk the red carpet for L’oreal on May 15. Freida Pinto will represent L’oreal at the American Foundation for AIDS Research on May 19. Also at the Cannes, the Ministry of Information Broadcasting and Tourism are hosting the ‘Indian Pavilion’ through National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The Indian Pavilion will release a guide consisting of companies, delegates in Cannes from India, co-production treaties signed, International film festivals and guidelines on filming in India. NFDC will be further promoting six directors—Dibakar Bannerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Laxmikant Shetgaokar, Haobam Paban Kumar, Shekhar Kammula and Anusha Rizvi. The Marathi film, Gabhricha Paus, will be screened at the festival.