Kanu Behl's Agra is selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section, explains why he does not have much objection to the red-carpet culture at the Cannes Film Festival among the media publications.
Last Updated: 03.07 PM, May 25, 2023
In the recent past, National Award-winning filmmaker Nandita Das, who attended the Cannes Film Festival earlier as one of the jury members as well as a film director with her film, pointed out how the mainstream media pays all the attention to the red carpet coverage, the presence of celebrities, and fashion more than the films and filmmakers who are representing India at the global stage.
Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl travelled to the festival with his new film, titled Agra, which has been selected for the premiere under the Directors’ Fortnight section.
OTTplay asked the filmmaker his opinion on the media attention that the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival gets, though films should have been the central point of conversation.
Kanu told OTTplay, "I honestly do not have that much problem with the whole attention that the red carpet and fashion get here at the festival. As a film festival, Cannes has a specific signature. I see no harm in filmmakers, actors, and performers getting their time in front of the camera, or getting the arch light, so to speak, because the festival managed to maintain a balance. There is a balance between the kind of cinema that they show and the parallel platform for the glamour that they build. It also helps to have some genuinely progressive and challenging cinema that gets played around all of that."
He added, "In a film festival like that, beyond the red-carpet area, there is the entrance to the theatre; behind that, there is another theatre; down the road, there is a screening happening for Critics Week. So, cinema and conversation around cinema are very much happening over there, apart from the red carpet and fashion. So as the audience members who are attending the festival, we have access to everything, including all the films that are being screened over there. We can choose not to look at only the red carpet and glamour but to watch films!"
However, when quizzed on whether mainstream media is writing enough about Indian selections at the festival, Kanu replied with a smile, "I think they could perhaps do a slightly better job."
Kanu's Agra, featuring Priyanka Bose, an Indo-French co-production by Saregama India Ltd., UFO Production, and O28 Films, received a spectacular response at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival, 2023.