Cannes 2022: Deepika Padukone wants India to support local talent with “conviction”

The actress said she was ‘proud’ to be Indian as the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence

The actress said she was ‘proud’ to be Indian as the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence

Deepika Padukone said on Wednesday that she was grateful to be part of the Cannes Film Festival jury, but hopes India will be as prestigious a film center as the city on the French Riviera.

The actor, who is one of eight members of the Cannes Competition jury at the gala which opened on May 17, said India must support local talent with “conviction”.

“We have a long way to go as a country. I feel really proud as an Indian to represent the country, but when you look at the 75 years of Cannes, there are a handful of Indian films, actors or talents who have managed to do so.

“I think collectively, as a nation, we have the talent, the ability and we just need the belief. There will come a day, I truly believe, when India doesn’t have to be in Cannes, Cannes will be in India,” Padukone said after the India Pavilion inauguration ceremony here which was broadcast live. on the official PIB YouTube channel.

The India Pavilion was inaugurated on Wednesday at the Cannes Film Market by I&B Minister Anurag Thakur in the presence of music maestro AR Rahman, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi, actors R Madhavan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pooja Hegde, Tamannaah, Urvashi Rautela and folk singer Mame Khan among others.

India, also the country of honor at the 2022 Cannes Film Market, is celebrating 75 years as an independent nation.

Padukone said she was “proud” as an Indian as the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival coincides with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

“I’m proud because it’s Cannes’ 75th anniversary but it’s also India’s 75th anniversary and having India as a flagship country and being part of the jury is something I never would have imagined and expected. »

The star also thanked Rahman and Kapur, who are part of the Indian government delegation to the festival, for bringing international recognition to India.

“I also truly believe that India is on the cusp of greatness. This is just the beginning. I want to thank people like Rahman sir, sir Shekhar. You are all truly the ones who put India on the map. It is because of your contribution over the years that has made it possible for people like us to be here today,” she added.

Citing the coincidence of British filmmaker Richard Attenborough directing ‘Gandhi’ and Kapur directing a series of films about Queen Elizabeth I, Rahman said he was “super inspired” to be in such august company.

The two-time Oscar winner, whose debut film ‘Le Musk’ premiered on the Cannes Film Market’s Cannes XR program, said he made the multi-sensory virtual reality film in English because he wanted break down barriers.

“The reason I made this film in English was to see if it was possible to break down those boundaries, to set a new bar. Even if it fails, it’s fine,” he added.

Agreeing with Padukone, Kapur said, “The next Cannes is in India. “We are the land of stories…Before, we were dominated by the culture of the West…But now the West is leveling off and the East is rising…A certain culture, I don’t say country, but a culture will take the place of the predominant culture,” said the famous filmmaker, also known for films such as “Masoom”, “Mr India” and “The Bandit Queen”.

Joshi, also a lyricist and poet, said the filmmaking process should be streamlined so that the dreams of budding artists living in small, remote towns across the country come true.

“We talk about diversity. How are we going to achieve diversity without empowerment? That’s what we should try to achieve when you come back from here…” he said. Madhavan said he would “envy” the actors whose films premiered at the festival and now that his debut film “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect” is set to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market on Thursday, he was nervous.

“But here I am today as an actor, director, writer and producer with my debut and I can’t begin to explain the amount of nervousness I feel,” the actor-filmmaker said.

Siddiqui, star of the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ films and the Netflix series ‘Sacred Games’, urged the government to expand support for ‘stories that are local but can work globally’.

“There have been many cases where such films have done well and received awards at film festivals like Cannes, but have encountered difficulties upon release here. It pains me a lot because these kinds of films get very little support. So I hope the government will give support to these films as well,” he added.

Tamannaah compared the opportunity to attend the film’s gala as “magnificent” to her record-breaking film “Baahubali”.

“Some of the greatest opportunities of my life have come to me when I was unprepared for them, whether it was a film like Baahubali, which changed the way cinema is perceived in India today and opened up windows for pan-India businesses. Being here in Cannes is exactly the same opportunity,” she said.

The delegation also launched the poster for the 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at the India Pavilion. Delhi-based filmmaker Shaunak Sen’s documentary ‘All That Breathes’ and Pratham Khurana’s short film in Le Cinef (a competition for film schools) are the only cinematic representation from India at the main festival.

Sen’s Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize documentary premiered in the gala’s ‘Special Screening’ segment.

The Cannes Film Festival will end on May 28.

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