By Subhash K Jha
The award-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion and our own Nandita Das, who are both currently at Cannes serving as part of the jury for short films, have formed a mutual admiration society.
One hears the two super-talented ladies have discovered much common ground for many hours of serious cerebral sessions and just plain girlie gup-shup.
Says Nandita, “I am delighted to be back to view some fabulous films and have the opportunity to discuss them with amazing co-jurors. It is a real honour to be called back just 8 yrs after my last time as a juror. This is a smaller jury, in terms of its size and responsibility, but no less joy!”
Nandita feels short films are given a raw deal. “I have always liked short films and feel sad that we don’t have many platforms where we can see them in India. The standard of films and performances has been really high in the Cinefondation section. The decision today was pretty unanimous.”
She is savouring her time-out with the distinguished co-jurors. “I am so fortunate to be in a wonderful jury yet again and I am throughly enjoying our interactions. Jane Campion is a wonderful film maker and person. All others too – Maji-da Abdi, the Ethiopian director and producer, Nicoletta Braschi, the Italian actress, and Semih Kaplanoglu, the Turkish director are special and I am enjoying talking to them about films, about life.”
As for the jury work, Nandita finds it tough but challenging. “In Cinefondation, from 1550 films from 227 film schools, 18 have been chosen for us to select the best 3 films. In the short film section, out of 3500 films 9 have been selected for us to see and we select the best one for the Palme d’or for the best short films. We’ll see the short films on Sunday,” she says.
The two men in Nandita’s life are with her in Cannes.
“My son Vihaan and my husband Subodh are also having a good time,” she signs off.