Seen from India. Why is the Cannes Film Festival ignoring Bollywood?

When 69 opense edition of the Cannes Film Festival, India is struggling with its cinema. “It's sad to say, but not a single Indian film is in contention for the Palme d'Or”, underscored film critic Jugu Abraham in a Bombay daily DNA. Of course, he admits, Bengali or Hindi productions were chosen by the Festival until the early 1990s, however “it has been twenty-two years since any Indian fiction was shortlisted for cinema's most prestigious award”. Same in Venice and Berlin.

Why India, “which produces the most fiction in the world”has reached this point, while countries without cinematic traditions such as Turkey, the Philippines or Thailand routinely receive international awards?
The fault lies with the Indian media which according to Jugu Abraham, “prefer to glorify the stars” Bollywood instead focuses on directors, screenwriters or distributors. That's wrong too “to public authorities”, which appoints technocrats to film schools and festivals rather than film professionals. Few people remember it, but in 1946, at the second edition of the event, Neecha Nagar (“The Lower Town”), a Hindi film directed by Chetan Anand, won the Festival's top award. This is the first time an Indian film has been crowned. It was also the last one.

Garfield Woolery

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