June 15 2014
An assessment of sorts for what was www.asianculturevulture.com’s first Cannes Film Festival…
Okay, Okay, we know. May has come and gone, but better late than never, eh?
It’s just over a month since our little clawed feet touched the Cote’d Azur and we made it to the most amazing film festival of them all…
The memory lingers and it’s hard not to forget this was www.asianculturevulture.com’s very first (though this writer has been there in previous incarnations).
Please take a bow. No, look, it’s not a self-congratulatory slap on the back. No, in some respects we didn’t do everything we wanted to or planned. But still…it was good to be there and covering it in real time.
Cannes 2014 was a heady mix for us – we were delighted just to be there and present to capture these moments.
Some – should be very familiar to you if you have been reading and following.
There was the very obvious – “Grace of Monaco” (out now in the UK and India) being produced and in the process part financed by Indian Bollywood powerhouse, Yash Raj Films (YRF) but from their LA outfit as personally rendered by Uday Chopra, head honcho and Bollywood actor and producer.
YRF also had the main ‘competition’ entry from India – “Titli” – while not in the big red carpet official competition section, featured in the very competitive and prestigious Un Certain Regard category.
Alas, it didn’t win any awards (the main one was taken by Hungarian film, “White God/Feher Isten”, a provoking allegory about racism and quite deserved too).
Kanu Behl’s film was decent and kept the flag flying for independent Indian cinema: good things are continuing to happen there.
Behl, who has been mentored by another indie master Dibakar Banerjee, is certainly one to look out for.
Those were the main points of interest for anyone with a South Asian perspective. Yes, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan came and went (but unless you have a red carpet pass it’s easy to miss her and the Indian fashionistas in her trail).
We were unable to catch up with Gitanjali Rao, who made “TrueLoveStory”, a short that featured in the Semaine. This is a slate of full length and shorts that the critics deem worthy of attention. Let’s hope it’s helping Rao to secure funds for a full length feature which has global appeal.
The portents are good – last year in that part of the festival was “The Lunchbox”. It garnered several prizes at film festivals, and has reportedly gone on to make $15 million at the box office. Not bad.
Away from all this, for the bird – there were five very high peaks:
- The Sophia Loren masterclass (just shame about the missing translation loops!)
- Ryan Gosling introducing his first film as a director, “Lost River” (forget the film, but the hoopla surrounding him is what Cannes is all about. An American woman after the film: “It’s an art film, right?”). See below…
- Quentin Tarantino, came, saw and most definitely conquered. In jovial and generous spirits, it was a thrill to see and hear him in full throttle – even if his pronouncements on digital were a shade haughty and high-handed. Of course, as a counterpart to film it may well not be the same, but there are serious cost implications and he agreed that for the first timer or novice filmmaker it did afford opportunities. See below…
- Getting into the main press hall after the screening of one of the main films in competition. It happened on the first full day with Mike Leigh’s “Mr Turner”. A super film and it was thrilling and instructive to hear Leigh and the talent talk about what was clearly a labour of love for them. If you like art and artists, do go and see it when it comes out in the UK and elsewhere (to not forget our international friends).
- There was also some pride and excitement with “Snow In Paradise” also featuring in the UCR section. A British/London gangster film it’s played with much authencity and emotion and has perhaps one of the few positive portrayals of Islam in a populist medium.
We were aided ably in the first part by Sunny & Shay (pictured here), BBC London 94.9FM presenters who helped us with our coverage from Cannes. It was a big thrill to have them as part of our team. See below…
There’ll be more on “Titli” and “Snow in Paradise” when the time is right.
But a big thanks to all the people too who tweeted, commented, followed and engaged with us – you helped to make it a very special and memorable experience.
We had some technical difficulties too (the ACV FB) was locked but thanks to some friends and readers, at least the service was maintained if somewhat at a lower key than we’d have really liked.
Well, there’s always next year…don’t worry we’ll be working on it and you’ll be the first to know…
Enjoy…and feel free to comment…HERE
There are more pictures HERE
There are stories all over the site (please check the film archive)
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Sailesh Ram, editor www.asianculturevulture.com
Quentin Tarantino enters the press conference…
Ryan Gosling introduces his first film as director, “Lost River“…Christina Hendricks comes in 0.28, Gosling at 0.36
Sophia Loren makes an entrance to her masterclass at the Cannes Film Festival 2014
Reception of ‘Titli‘ after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2014
BBC London94.9FM presenters Sunny and Shay with us at the Cannes Film Festival 2014