India and France walk hand in hand on the Croisette
by Laura Nanchino
- CANNES 2015: Masaan and The Fourth Direction, in competition in the Un Certain Regard section, were both co-produced by France
India, a country boasting one of the world’s highest levels of film production (with more than 1,000 movies per year), has again paid a visit to the Croisette – it is present at its pavilion in the Village International and the Film Market, but even more so in two films screening in Un Certain Regard at the 68th Cannes Film Festival: The Fourth Direction [+see also:
film profile] by Gurvinder Singh and Masaan [+see also:
film profile] by Neeraj Ghaywan (Promising Future Prize and Fipresci Prize in the section). These two titles were co-produced by France, thanks to the co-production agreements signed by India and another ten countries, six of which are European: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In The Fourth Direction, the Sikh revolt in the state of Punjab in 1984 is depicted through two stories, which were filmed without any intention of making a historical re-enactment, but rather to focus on men who are facing the consequences of the religious conflict. In the first story, two Hindu friends miss their train and try to board a night train that passengers are not allowed on to. In the second tale, a humble family of Sikh farmers tries to live as peaceful a life as possible, in spite of the Sikh rebels who are seeking their help and the soldiers who are looking for the rebels. The family's beloved dog will turn this delicate balance on its head. The Fourth Direction is produced by The Film Café and co-produced by Catherine Dussart Productions.
Masaan by Neeraj Ghaywan follows four lives that intersect in the holy city of Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges: a low-caste boy who falls in love with an upper-caste young girl; another young girl who is in the throes of guilt after a romantic encounter; her father, who is a victim of corruption; and a child in search of a family. A co-production by Drishyam Films, Macassar Productions, Phantom Films, Pathé and Arte France Cinéma, Masaan will be released in French theatres on 24 June.
It is also interesting to note that two French movies presented at Cannes were shot in India: Dheepan [+see also:
Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile] by Jacques Audiard (in Official Competition), which was filmed in Tamil Nadu, and Les Cowboys [+see also:
film profile] by Thomas Bidegain (Directors' Fortnight), which was shot in Rajasthan.
(Translated from French)