Cannes 2023: Union Minister Murugan poses with Oscar-winning 'The Elephant Whisperers' producer Guneet Monga

Four Indian films have made it to the official selection at Cannes Film Festival

May 17, 2023 11:54 am | Updated 12:35 pm IST

Union Minister Murugan with ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ producer Guneet Monga 

Union Minister Murugan with ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ producer Guneet Monga  | Photo Credit: @Murugan_MoS/Twitter

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan, who is leading the Indian delegation at the ongoing year's Cannes Film Festival, posed with Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperersproducer Guneet Monga. Murugan walked the red carpet in traditional attire. In the picture, Murugan is dressed in a white shirt which got the national flag on its left side and a G20 logo on the right. He paired it with 'Veshti' to represent his culture at the global level. Guneet, on the other hand, opted for a golden-tone saree.

ALSO READ: ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ documentary review: A strikingly-lush safari on the co-existence of man and nature

Ahead of Cannes, Murugan told ANI, "The embroidery on the shirt has been done by my local tailor. It makes me immensely proud to wear the tricolour on my chest. Since we are doing so many events and showcasing our heritage at the G20 year-long plan, it is only fit that we tell the world about it," he added. Murugan went to the event last year too and India was the Country of Honour.

Guneet's documentary, helmed by debutant Kartiki Gonsalves, is a 41-minute short documentary movie that explores the precious bond between Raghu, an orphaned baby elephant, and his caretakers - a mahout couple named Bomman and Bellie - who devote their lives to protect him from poachers and raise him. The project, which is backed by Guneet's banner Sikhya Entertainment, beat four other contenders to clinch the statuette in the Best Documentary Short Category, making it the first Indian documentary and one of only two Indian productions to win an Oscar (the other one being RRR).

Anurag Kashyap's Kennedy is being screened in Midnight Screenings and Nehemich in the La Cinef section of the Festival de Cannes. Apart from these, many Indian films are slotted for being screened in Marche du Films. A restored Manipuri film Ishanhou, will be showcased in the 'Classics' section. The movie was previously played in the festival's 'Un Certain Regard' section in 1991 and the National Film Archives of India preserved its film reels. The Manipur State Film Development Society got the film restored through the Film Heritage Foundation & Prasad Film Labs.

India will continue its push for being the content hub of the world, and a one-stop destination from conceiving to making films to doing post-production including graphics and animation and other modern techniques and tools. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur had spoken about it during his visit to the festival last year. This year's special focus will be on India's culture and heritage at the India Pavilion. The theme for this year's Pavilion is based on the Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. It has been designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad with the theme - 'Showcasing India's Creative Economy' to the global community.

The pavilion design has been inspired by the Saraswati Yantra, the abstract representation of the goddess Saraswati, keeper of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom and learning. The colours of the pavilion draw inspiration from the vibrant colours of India's national flag - saffron, white, green, and blue. Saffron for the strength and courage of the country, white for inner peace and truth, green for showcasing fertility, growth, and auspiciousness of the land, and blue for the law of dharma and truth. India has a vast reservoir of talent and the Indian Pavilion will provide the platform to the Indian film community to sign distribution deals, greenlight scripts, crack production collaborations and simply network with the world's major entertainment and media players. Among the top highlight of last year's festival was the premiere of R. Madhavan's Film Rocketry. Anurag Thakur, who will not be physically present at the festival, will address the inaugural through a video message.

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