Indian Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj is heading to Cannes with a high-profile delegation of the Hindi film industry, including Yash Chopra, Yash Johar, Karan Johar, Subhash Ghai, Ramesh Sharma, Uma Gajapati Raju, Ronnie Screwvala and Amit Khanna.
With the assistance of Government funding, the Indian pavilion will be double the size of last year's, said Swaraj, - with the objective of promoting the Indian film industry's products and services abroad, its attraction as a location and its competitively priced post-production services. Swaraj stated that the Government was trying to simplify the visa system for foreign film-makers to come to India.
A Hindi film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdaas, is being screened (May 23) as part of the non-competitive section at Cannes. The movie, by director Sanjay Leela Bansali, is the most expensive film to be made in Bollywood history, costing over $12m.
Meanwhile, an Indian film, Tridib Poddar's Khoj, has been selected in the cinefondation section of the festival. Manish Jha's A Very Very Silent Film has been selected in the short film competition while Manu Rewal's Hollywood Ki Pukar was announced as screening in the director's fortnight.
As a tribute to the late film-maker Raj Kapoor three works - Aag, Awara and Barsaat - will also be screened at the festival. The three films being shown as "homage to the prince of Bollywood" were selected by the Cannes authorities themselves after seeing the entire oeuvre of his works. Aag, Awara and Barsaat, made between 1948 and 1951, are all black and white films where Raj Kapoor is producer, director and actor.