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India is world’s sutradhar: I&B Secretary Jaju


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Cannes: The India pavilion at the 77th Cannes Film Festival has opened with the country’s film community asserting the role of India as the narrator of stories for the world.

“India is the sutradhar of the world,” said Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sanjay Jaju while inaugurating the India pavilion at the Marche du Film, the largest film market in the world, at the Cannes film festival Wednesday.

“India produces 1,700 films every year in multiple languages and dialects reflecting the diversity and cultural heritage of our country,” Jaju said at the inauguration function attended by India’s Ambassador to France, Jawed Ashraf, and ‘Delhi Crime’ and ‘Poacher’ director Richie Mehta among others.

“The concept of sutradhar is woven into the design of the India pavilion,” Jaju added. “Our cinema is the strongest manifestation of India’s soft power. Each region in India contributes their unique flavour.”

“We are very proud there is an Indian film in Cannes competition this year,” he said, referring to Mumbai-based director Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine As Light”, the first Indian film to vie for the prestigious Palme d’Or, the top prize of the Cannes festival, in three decades.

The last Indian film in Cannes competition was “Swaham” (My Own) directed by Malayalam filmmaker Shaji N Karun in 1994.

“India is offering red carpet to foreign filmmakers to come and produce movies in the country,” Jaju said, emphasising the Indian film industry’s focus at the Cannes festival this year on forging partnerships and collaborations with the global entertainment industry.

“We are witnessing an extraordinary popularity of Indian cinema abroad today,” said Amb Ashraf.

“No film festival in the world can call it global without having the presence of Indian films,” he added.

Among other film personalities present on the occasion were Christian Jeune, the deputy artistic director of the Cannes festival, Tholoana Rose Ncheke, chairperson, National Film and Video Foundation, South Africa, and Ravi Kottarakara, president, Film Federation of India.

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