Selected Films vs Market: Cannes Film Festival’s Reality
The 75th Cannes Film Festival 2022 opened in France and will run until 28 May. R Madhavan’s most anticipated movie ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ premiered during the ongoing 75th annual Cannes Film Festival, receiving deafening applause for 10 minutes.
The film is a biographical drama featuring the story of former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Indian Aerospace Research Organization (ISRO) scientist and engineer Nambi Narayanan. Although the film was shown during the festival, it was not part of the official selection or the main festival.
The film was actually shown at the Marché du Film, which literally means ‘film market’ which happens to be a commercial counterpart to the film festival, where you only have to pay a fee.
This is slightly different from the official selection, where the Election Commission selects the films to be screened from among thousands of entries each year. The official selection has three subcategories, which include Competition, Out of Competition, and Un Certain Regard.
In general, for studios or producers, it is convenient to use the Marché du Film for film screenings and to market it by paying and saying that the film was shown in Cannes, which is true in this case, but it is not subject to a strict selection procedure by a professional jury. With this setup, the people behind the Cannes Film Festival get paid and allow the makers to show their films.
Twitter user @rmshnt27 wrote, ‘Learnt recently that you can basically rent theatres in Cannes and say your film premiered at Cannes. It is not part of the official Cannes jury selection. Madhavan’s Rocketry is one such example.’
‘Since this tweet is getting attention – which I never anticipated – here’s how I ended up doing the research. I saw the 10 minute standing ovation news for Rocketry and the video that was shared. It had mostly Indians clapping – wondered why that was the case’.
In response to the response he received in Cannes, R. Madhavan was quoted as saying: ‘I am overwhelmed with happiness and joy. It is a surreal moment for all of us at Team Rocketry! Humbled and grateful by God’s grace. Thank you for all your love and gratitude. Support.’
The film revolves around the Indian scientist and flight engineer S. Nambi Narayanan, who is known for introducing liquid fuel rocket technology. He was unjustly arrested by Kerela Police in the sensational ISRO spy case in 1994.
The charges were dismissed in 1996 by the CBI and he pleaded not guilty in 1998, but after 24 years he received compensation of Rs 50 lakh recently in September for staying in prison for 50 days.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, is leading the Indian delegation to the 75th Cannes Film Festival, where India has been chosen as the “Country of Honour” for the Marche du Film, the commercial counterpart to the tent event.
Sharing his review of the film, Anurag Thakur said: ‘ROCKETRY is charming and will leave audiences silent; it’s a story the world must-see. Congratulations @ActorMadhavan for capturing the spirit of the story and sharing it with the world. World Premiere: Rocketry at Marche Du FilmsFestival_Cannes ‘IndiaCountry of Honour’.’
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