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“Romanticism and politics,” is what Cannes Film Festival general delegate Thierry Frémaux described this year’s very theme. At a press conference, he announced 90% of the official 2019 lineup under the Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, Special Screenings, and Midnight Screenings sections. Cannes competition jury is also to be announced, which will be led by Birdman and The Revenant filmmaker Alejandro Iñárritu this year.


One of the most shocking factor that remains is, not a single Indian film was selected for Cannes this year, given the fact that Nandita Das’ Saadat Hasan Manto biopic ‘Manto’ was chosen for the Un Certain Regard section and Rohena Gera’s unconventional love story Sir was screened as part of the Critics Week in the year 2018. Also, last year’s Indian presence was also boosted by Pushpa Ignatius, whose Pournami had its world premiere at the Cannes Short Film Corner, Manoj Bajpayee and Devashish Makhija, who disclosed the first look of their cop drama Bhonsle, Aneek Chaudhuri’s silent anthology White being screened at the Marché du Film, Dhanush, who launched the poster for the Ken Scott-directed The Extraordinary Journey of Fakir in which he starred and Vikas Khanna coming out with the first look of his directorial debut The Last Colour.


A flair for equality could clearly be seen this year. There are 13 women filmmakers in official selection — Mati Diop (Atlantique), Jessica Hausner (Little Joe), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Justine Triet (Sibyl), Pippa Bianco (Share), Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobé Mévellec (The Swallows of Kabul), Monia Chokri (A Brother’s Life), Mounia Meddour (Papicha), Maryam Touzani (Adam), Annie Silverstein (Bull), Danielle Lessovitz (Port Authority), Waad Al Kateab (For Sama) — four of whom will in a competition with Palme d’Or, the highest number since 2011.


The number is really good when compared to last year where only three of the 18 films in competition were by female filmmakers.

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