Megastar-turned-politician, Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi is leading the Indian delegation at the 66 Cannes Film Festival 2013.

The prestigious event that kicked off on May 15 has India as a guest country and a composite delegation from the Ministries of Information & Broadcasting and Tourism is participating in it to showcase the heritage of Indian films whose 100th anniversary celebrations are currently under way. The Union Tourism Ministry is promoting India as a ‘Filming Destination’ among international filmmakers.

In a press release, Mr. Chiranjeevi said the Ministry had identified ‘Film Tourism’ as a niche product and was actively promoting the country as cinema had emerged as a powerful tool for development and promotion of destinations. Many places had gained in terms of tourist influx because they were venues/locations of popular domestic and international films, he said, adding that Puducherry and Munnar in Kerala were being promoted as ‘Life of Pi’, because the Oscar-winning film was shot there.

The joint participation of the Ministries of Tourism and I & B was consequent to the MoU between the two, to promote ‘Cinema of India’ as a sub-brand of ‘Incredible India’ at international film festivals like the International Film Festival of India, Goa, European Film market, Cannes Film Festival and markets abroad. The objective was to develop synergy between the tourism and film industry and thus provide a platform for enabling partnerships between Indian and global film industry, he said.

Mr. Chiranjeevi said that the Union Tourism Ministry’s activities at Cannes Film Festival 2013 included a presentation in the ‘Incredible India’ dinner, providing opportunities for business networking, a booth at the exhibition with the design of the Indian pavilion promoting ‘Incredible India’.