Nandita Das and ‘Manto go Cannes Film Festival 2018

Nandita Das has informed the media that her biographical film ‘Manto’ got selected in the official section of Un Certain Regard category. The category is specifically meant for films, which narrate stories in nontraditional ways. A total of 20 films are featured in the category. All set to kick start from May 8 onwards, the 71st edition of the festival will come to an end on May 19. Earlier, it was on Thursday, which the official list of films for the festival, got announced. Un Certain Regard section is different from that of the Palm d’Or section. It must be added right here in that the entries in this section can compete for FIPRESCI prize.

Featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, this Nandita Das directorial will go up against the likes of Long Day’s Journey into Night by Bi Gan; Little Tickles by Andrea Bescond and Eric Metayer etc. Essentially a biographical historical period drama, ‘Manto’ deals with the writer’s life around the partition of India. Featuring Tahir Raj Bhasin, Rasika Dugal, Rajshri Deshpande and to name the rest in important roles, ‘Manto’ also features a cameo appearance from Rishi Kapoor. It was during the Cannes 2017, which the poster of the movie got unveiled. Directed by Nandita Das, the short film In ‘Defence of Freedom’ is considered as a prelude to ‘Manto’. While the background music is by Zakir Hussain, it is Sneha Khanwalker, who has composed the music for ‘Manto’.

The presence of Indian films in Cannes Film Festival, started with Gautam Ghose directed ‘Antarjali Yatra’ in 1987. Subsequently, Indian films have made it to the Cannes Film festival during the years – 1990, 1994 and 2012. It was in the year 2015, when an Indian film got screened in Cannes last time. This year’s Cannes Film Festival is also notable for Netflix boycotting the event. It was over banning films produced by streaming platforms for competition section, which Netflix decided shunning the event.

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