I want to make a film for the official category at Cannes: Sharad Kelkar
Sharad Kelkar is on a high after returning from his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival. “Going to Cannes is a big deal for a Marathi film. I couldn’t have asked for more for my first production venture,” says the actor whose film has been well received at other Indian and international film festivals.
His Marathi film Idak, promoted by the Maharashtra state government, was screened at the Cannes Film Market. He also attended the Naomi Campbell hosted Fashion For Relief Charity gala there.
Sharad says, “Cannes was a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our film and it is inspiring to see that now our government too, is supporting Marathi cinema.”
Sharad met with many international actors and technicians at Cannes, and realised that there is a market for good Indian content. He says, “They now realise that song-and-dance films are a part of Indian culture but it’s not a necessary part of every film, especially after the success of Baahubali (2015) and Secret Superstar (2017) in China and other countries. They have now realised that we can make content-driven cinema too. In fact, I was amazed that so many foreigners, especially the Chinese, recognised my voice as I had dubbed for Baahubali.”
Sharad adds that he was disheartened to see the lack of Indian films in the competition category at Cannes. “Indian films have rarely been selected for the competition category. We have the talent and we can produce content worthy of the official entry in the festival circuit. Each year, our movies are screened in the Un Certain Regard section or market screenings but they are not competing for the Palm d’Or. We have fantastic film-makers who can make a brilliant piece of work. I want to make a film that gets selected in the competition category in Cannes.”
In the past Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1956) received the Palm d’Or, Best Sound Recording for Amar Bhoopali (1951), a biopic on the Marathi poet Honaji Bala, child artist Baby Naaz received Special Distinction Award for her performance in Raj Kapoor’s Boot Polish (1955).