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Copyright 2004

WORLD CINEMA

Festivals

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Cannes 2004: No Indian entry

This year -- 2004 -- there is no Indian entry at the 57th Cannes International Film Festival, which begins May 12 and ends May 23. This will be the second consecutive year that India goes unrepresented at this summer festival on the delightful French Riviera by the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2002, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Aishwarya Rai-Madhuri Dixit-Shahrukh Khan-starrer, "Devdas" (the enth celluloid version of the Bengali novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay) was screened as part of the official selection at Cannes. It was shown Outside Competition, a section meant to showcase glamour.

So what if there is no work from us, India may well ask.Afterall, Germany had none of its movies screened at Cannes for 10 years, nothing since 1993.

But 2004 seems to be lucky for Germany. First-time director Hans Weingartner's "Happy Days Are Gone" is part of the prestigious Cannes Competition But, let me end by saying that it really is a shame that out of the 900-odd films which India makes every year, Cannes found none suited to be invited this year and in 2003.

Is it a problem of quality or is it a case of the wrong/below average movies being sent up for possible inclusion at Cannes ?

Weeks before the Paris Press conference on April 21 -- where the list of films was announced -- some Indian newspapers and magazines had gone to town about the big cinema representation from the country. Seems like a classic case of over-confidence and misinformation.

Why fool the readers, and raise false hopes ?



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