By Subhash K Jha
The mad rush to be seen on the red carpet the Cannes Film Festival this year underscores the sad fact that only one Indian film Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout made it into the main section of the prestigious festival.
Tannishtha Chatterjee, who stars opposite Nawazzudin Siddiqui in the film, says,“Monsoon Shootout is the only Indian film in the official Cannes selection that is the main Cannes film festival. We had our world premier at the Grand Lumiere, Palais in Cannes on Saturday. The only Indian film premiering at the grand Lumiere this year and also the only Indian film in the last 15 years. What an experience for me to watch the film in the Grand Lumiere. It was a historic moment.”
More than herself, Tannishtha is happy for the film’s director Amit Kumar. “That his first film got this kind of opening and reception. There were 2,500 people in the audience. I have walked red carpets for other films at the Grand Lumiere in the past. But to have done it for my own film was an experience. The day was incredible in terms of weather though. It was pouring since morning and at midnight when our gala opening was supposed to be, it started raining cats and dogs much in-sync with the name of the film, Monsoon Shootout.”
Tannishtha is still not over the experience. “After the screening, there was a standing ovation for over 15 minutes. We did not know what to do after a point. Amit Kumar, Nawazuddin, Vijay Verma and I were just looking at each other, wondering. Hats off to (producers) Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga for supporting films like these which are taking Indian cinema to a global platform.”
Tannishtha feels special glow about the Cannes experience. “This year we celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema in a grand way at Cannes. The official Indian party on the 19th evening also had Anoushka Shankar playing. It was a proud moment.”
Taking a dig at all and sundry waltzing down the red carpet at Cannes, Tannishtha comments, “I have always been to various A-list festivals in the world with my films in Toronto, Berlin and Cannes. And it is an honor to be there this year with an Indian film. I am very happy that I travel to the top festivals in the world with actual films in official entries and not in markets or for red carpets only.”