This year, the Cannes Film Festival is honoring India as it celebrates the centenary of the birth of Indian cinema. On May 3, 1913, “Raja Harishchandra” the country’s first feature length film was shown in Bombay and the movie’s director, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, is considered the father of Indian cinema. Since then, over 40,000 Indian films have been made and the country’s regional films combined with “Bollywood” – the informal name given to the Hindi film industry – is now the largest and most prolific in the world, reaching an audience of over 3 billion.
Yesterday, the Cannes Film Festival celebrated the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema by hosting the world premier of Bombay Talkies, an anthology consisting of four short films directed by contemporary heavyweights Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar. Although the shorts are a tribute to Indian cinema, they are far from “typical” Bollywood fare tackling issues about urban relationships, sexual identity and society’s obsession with celebrity and fame. The hope, say the directors, is that this new generation of films can show that Indian cinema is more than just Bollywood song and dance medleys.
Check out the images from the “Bombay Talkies” Gala celebration and screening at Cannes below:
Images courtesy of: IBI Times
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