For the past couple of days, celebs have been making headlines for setting the red carpet on fire at the 2018 Cannes Festival. Deepika Padukone in a ruffled pink gown, or Aishwarya Rai in a dress inspired by the metamorphosis of a butterfly are doing rounds relentlessly. The media, especially in India is busy covering every aspect of the Cannes Film Festival, except… films.
Since last few years, especially ever since Indian beauties began to walk the red carpet, films have seldom created the buzz at Cannes.
The Cannes film festival is one of those events which is fighting an existential crisis. For a film festival to generate more buzz about fashion than cinema is definitely not good news. But this obsession with fashion is more pronounced in India than elsewhere. Let’s admit it, we don’t care about the fine art that is global cinema. Our approach shows in paltry box office collections of critically acclaimed films from both India and abroad. We are content with masala that our Tigers and Avengers, have to offer. Strip cinema of its grandeur and not many people care about it in our country.
So people may remember Aishwarya’s purple lipstick from last year, but not the name of the film which won Palme d’Or.
Cannes is a perfect opportunity for filmmakers to introduce their craft to the global audience. However apart from the 1946 Hindi-Urdu film Neecha Nagar, no other Indian movie has managed to score the top honour of Palme d’Or. But filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mani Ratnam have taken their work to Cannes in hopes of gaining international exposure. This year actor-director Nandita Das’ film “Manto” is India’s flag-bearer and the official selection of the 71st Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section.
But more than “Manto” the press was found reporting Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s red-carpet look. Apart from our apathy to critically acclaimed cinema it shows our lack of interest in what is happening in the world of films.
Is it the media which is responsible for reducing a prestigious film festival to a fashion parade? The truth it is time that the cinema lovers reclaimed Cannes from the fashion magazines. We should condemn the poor coverage of films being showcased at Cannes by the Indian media. We should also try to generate some buzz on social media about movies instead of retweeting pictures of who-wore-what.
Photo Credit : Twitter
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.