The official opening of the virtual India Pavilion at the 74th Cannes Film Festival was organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India, jointly with FICCI. Mr Uday Singh, Co-Chair, FICCI Film Forum & MD, MPA-India, who moderated the session, thanked the Indian government for organising ‘India Pavilion’ for the benefit of the Indian filmmaking community, especially in the middle of the Covid-19 health crisis.
Ms Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of I&B, GoI, in her opening remarks, said the Cannes Film Festival is a great opportunity for Indian filmmakers to share Indian talent and content with the world, and that cinema has been a triumph of courage in these difficult times.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, in his inaugural address, said that though participation in the Cannes Film festival is virtual these last two years, the business being generated is real.
Speaking of India’s increasing contribution to world cinema, the minister said that India’s diverse locales are regularly utilised by various international productions to carry out shoots, while India’s VFX industry has played a huge role in Hollywood films such as Lion King, Jungle Book, Life of Pi, X-Men, and Avatar – to name a few.
He also added that in order to attract more international filmmakers to India, the government of India has opened a Film Facilitation Office, “We have now opened up a facilitation office which guarantees that all permissions are given in one go,” he said.
Further, expressing hope in the future of world cinema, Mr Javadekar said that he is sure films will do huge business once the pandemic is over.
This year the Indian delegation to Cannes will be led by His Excellency Mr Jawed Ashraf, Ambassador of India to the Republic of France and Principality of Monaco, GoI. Mr Jawed, in his address, expressed joy to be able to attend the festival – albeit in virtual mode. He further said that after the isolation of Covid-19, the festival will be a wonderful platform to reconnect and discuss the exciting developments taking place within Indian as well as world cinema.
Mr Amit Khare, Secretary, I&B Ministry, GoI, said, “This year marks the 75th year of Indian Independence, and also the centenary year of the legendary filmmaker Late Shri Satyajit Ray. I’m very happy that our delegation and all our well-wishers will be showcasing India at 75 and also the rich heritage of Satyajit Ray [at the Cannes Film Festival].”
The 2021 edition of the Cannes Film Festival will be held between July 6-17.
For the entire session, view the video above.