Cannes 2024: ‘The Shameless’ director Konstantin Bojanov on India-set film

The film, featuring Anasuya Sengupta and Omara, follows two sex workers who forge a bond and seek to throw off their shackles

Published - May 18, 2024 12:00 pm IST

Director Konstantin Bojanov, cast members Omara Shetty, Tanmay Dhanania, Anasuya Sengupta, Mihir, Rohit Kokate, Kiran Bhivagade, Auroshikha Dey and Mita Vashisht pose during a photocall for the film "The Shameless" in competition for the category Un Certain Regard at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Director Konstantin Bojanov, cast members Omara Shetty, Tanmay Dhanania, Anasuya Sengupta, Mihir, Rohit Kokate, Kiran Bhivagade, Auroshikha Dey and Mita Vashisht pose during a photocall for the film "The Shameless" in competition for the category Un Certain Regard at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier | Photo Credit: Sarah Meyssonnier

One of the more unusual films representing India at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov's Hindi-language "The Shameless", premiered on Friday morning at Salle Debussy here in the presence of the director and the two lead actresses, Anasuya Sengupta and Omara.

Introducing the title selected as part of Un Certain Regard, the festival's deputy artistic director Christian Jeune said: "India has a very strong presence here this year. It includes this film by a Bulgarian director." "This has been a long journey. It was nothing like Coppola's, but it was 12 years," Bojanov said, referring to Francis Ford Coppola's decades in making "Megalopolis".

"There were points when I nearly gave up on the film. The completion of this project would not have possible without my fantastic cast and crew," Bojanov said.

Also featuring Mita Vashisht, Tanmay Dhanania, Rohit Kokate, Anasuya Sengupta and Auroshikha Dey in key roles, "The Shameless" forays into a dark, disturbing world of exploitation and misery in which two sex workers, one who bears the scars of her line of work, the other a young girl days away from ritual initiation, forge a bond and seek to throw off their shackles.

Bojanov, who has over two decades made countless trips to India, tells a universal story that is specifically Indian.

"I did not intend 'The Shameless' to be a social document. I went in for abstractions of reality in piecing together the story," he told this writer in the course of an interview ahead of the film's world premiere.

The making of "The Shameless", said Bojanov, was interrupted several times owing to the Covid pandemic. The production also took its time because "financing it took forever".

He said there could not have been a better venue than Cannes to open the film to the world.

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