I&B Minister Smriti Irani is gearing up to represent India at the Cannes Film Festival in the French Riviera, The Times of India reported. Irani will lead the 8-member panel at the fest, which began on May 8.

The delegation will showcase the “best” of Indian cinema

The other members of the delegation include joint secretary (films) Ashok Parmar, joint secretary in the MEA Vinod Jacob, censor board chairman Prasoon Joshi, filmmakers Shaji Karun, Jahnu Barua and Bharat Bala and actor Parvathy.

This is the first time since Sushma Swaraj led a delegation when she was I&B minister in 2002-2003. The focus of the panel would be pointing out the expansion plan of India’s co-production treaty market.

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“India is at the cusp of change. We want young filmmakers from India to use this as a platform to showcase their creativity. We will also have a comprehensive halfday session to develop film commissions across the world,” said CBFC member Vani Tripathi Tikoo, who is part of the delegation.

“It is very sad that Indian cinema earlier had to get a stamp of approval at film festivals for it to gain credibility and acceptance in India. We want to change that. So, we are taking brand new, never-seen-before films to the world’s largest film market,” – Vani Tripathi Tikoo

Every year, the country shines at the prestigious fest with its diverse films. This year too is no different. Some of the notables films to feature at Cannes this year are actor Dhanush’s The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir at Film Mkt/India Day, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Manto, which has been selected in the Un Certain Regard section, Tillotama Shome’s Sir, which is in competition at Critics Week, and Dinakar Rao’s Asthi that will feature in the Short-film Corner segment.

The delegation, on the other hand, will discuss four Indian films at the platform — National Award-winning films ‘Village Rockstars’ from Assam, ‘Bhayanakam’ from Kerala, ‘Nagar Kirtan’ from West Bengal and Jeseri film ‘Sinjar’ from Lakshadweep.

The festival will be on till May 19.

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