Gautaman Bhaskaran
an indian journalist
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Cannes 2005: Festival Chief loves Indian cinema

Thierry Fremaux
India, which makes about 900 movies a year, has none in this year’s Cannes International Film Festival (May 2005). What does Thierry Fremaux, the Festival’s Artistic Director, feel about this? In a short interview on May 18 afternoon, he told me that he loves Indian cinema, and that his memory of the vastly rich country is still very strong, having visited it about 30 years ago, when he was young and sensitive. His impressions are still very strong.

But why then is there no Indian movie in the official sections? “Well, you do not have any Spanish or Dutch or British entry in Competition”, Fremaux explains the blank Indian screen. “Five years ago, we started with a tribute to Raj Kapoor, and then we had ‘Devdas’. We have Nandita Das on the jury this year. These are all signs of our love for Indian cinema”.

Fremaux plans a trip this autumn to India to meet people, producers, directors, actors and journalists to ask them to send to Cannes their most important works. “You are talking to someone who really loves Indian cinema, and I feel that it is a very important country as far as the history of cinema goes”, Fremaux is unabashed about his passion for Indian films.

However, although he admits that India did send many possible entries for selection, he would not like to disclose the titles, because “it is our policy to only talk about the movies we have chosen”.

(This story was posted on this website on May 18 2005)

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