Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur led the largest ever Indian official delegation of celebrities walking together on the Red Carpet at Cannes Film Festival’s inaugural event. In a historic moment for Indian folk arts, Mame Khan became the first ever folk artist to open a Red Carpet for Indian contingent at Cannes.
Putting on display the diversity and uniqueness of Indian cinema, the glamorous red carpet contingent comprised film celebrities from across India. Consisting of eleven members walking towards the legendary stairs of the Palais des Festivals, the delegation carried all the symbolism of India’s ambition to become as a global cinema hub.
The ten celebrities that accompany the Union Minister feature three musical maestros, and renowned film makers and actors from Indian Cinema. Among the stars was actor Nawazuddin Siddique, a regular at Cannes. Presence of superstar music composer AR Rahman in the group displayed the intent of the Indian delegation to pay tribute to cinematographic music. Ricky Kej, an internationally acclaimed new age music composer and multi-Grammy Award winner, represented a more contemporary side of India, while Mame Khan, film composer and folk singer from Rajasthan, personified the influence of folk culture on Indian cinema. Prasoon Joshi, a lyricist, and now Chairman of the Central Board for Film Certification,CBFC, was also present.
Ambassadors from different regional cinemas were included in delegation. This year, cinema from the south was in spotlight. R. Madhavan, actor and producer who has been involved in movies shot in six different languages, was part of the delegation. Two Telugu cinema superstars, Tamannah Bhatia and Pooja Hegde, also made their appearance as part of the delegation.