The Cannes Film Market, held in conjunction with the Cannes Film Festival, will have three special guests this year — Marathi films chosen by the Maharashtra government to promote Marathi cinema internationally and to open the doors of the global market for Marathi film-makers. The Cannes Film Market is the biggest film market in the world, with more than 12,000 participants and 1,400 films showcased across 34 screening rooms.
The selected Marathi films for the May 17-26 extravaganza — this is the second year running that Maharashtra is sending award-winning films to Cannes — include Dashakriya (Tenth Day Ritual) directed by Sandeep Bhalachandra Patil; Prakash Kunte’s Cycle ; and Take Care Good Night , directed by Girish Joshi. At the National Film Awards announced earlier this month, Dashakriya won the award for best Marathi film, best screenplay, and best supporting actor, while Cycle bagged the best costume design nod. Another Marathi film, Kaasav , won the Golden Lotus, the award for the year’s overall Best Picture.
All three films will have two industry screenings each at Cannes, and two members from each of the film’s teams will travel to the picturesque city located on the French Riviera.
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting organises the India Pavilion every year to represent Indian cinema at Cannes. However, Maharashtra is reportedly the only State to set up its own booth at the Cannes Market, a practice started last year at the behest of Vinod Tawde, a senior BJP minister in Maharashtra, whose responsibilities, include the promotion of Marathi language and culture.
The three films shown in 2016 were Makarand Mane’s Ringan , Shivaji Lotan Patil’s Halal and Punarvasu Naik’s Vakratunda Mahakaya .
The last decade-and-a-half has seen a renaissance of sorts in Marathi cinema, thanks to a combination of new-age writers and film-makers who take risks with unusual, contemporary plots, and the State government’s grants and subsidies to the Marathi film industry. According to an April 2015 State government directive, it is mandatory for multiplexes in the State to reserve at least one show a day for Marathi films.