Cannes Film Festival 2021: Indian Filmmakers to Look Out For

Some Indian films featured in the sidebars of Cannes Film Festival are being talked about a lot.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>A still from Rahul Jain's documentary Invisible Demons.</p></div>

With France seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival is back with its 74th edition. India may not have secured a position in the Competition and Un Certain Regard official sections, but two of its films featured in the sidebars this year are being talked about a lot.


Invisible Demons

Invisible Demons makes the Cannes debut for Rahul Jain. The 70-minute documentary charts the impact of climate change, global warming and pollution on the lives and health of millions of New Delhi residents. The documentary will premiere on 12 July in the Cinema for the Climate section.

A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Rahul's first film was the critically-acclaimed feature Machines, that delved into the human consequences of industrialisation. According to a report by National Herald, Invisible Demons was researched and written within 100 days in 2018 and shot over 100 days through 2019.

The Indian filmmaker has a global backing too. Invisible Demons is executive produced and co-financed by Participant. It is produced by Toinen Katse and Ma.Ja.De. Film Produktions and supported by FFF-MDM-YLE-AVEK. The film’s producers are IikkaVehkalahti, who had collaborated with Rahul on Machines, and Heino Deckert.

A Night of Knowing Nothing

Payal Kapadia's movie will have its premiere in Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) and it's also competing for the Camera D’Or award. A Night of Knowing Nothing follows a university student from India writing letters to her estranged lover. National Herald quotes the official synopsis as stating, "Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her.”

“Merging reality with fiction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds,” the synopsis adds.

Mumbai-based Kapadia has graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. She took her short film Afternoon Clouds to Cannes in 2017. It premiered in Cinefondation, the students’ films section of the festival. Another short film of hers, And What Is The Summer Saying, premiered at Berlinale.



While technically not a part of the film festival, Suman Sen’s debut feature Eka has been selected for La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institutfrançais 2021, a programme curated for young filmmakers from emerging countries to network with agents and distributors across the world during Cannes. The socio-political drama is set in Kolkata and centres around the spirit of resistance of the common man.

In the Marche Du Film, (Cannes Film Market), the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) will present seven projects looking for financiers and co-producers. The films include Dengue by Prantik Basu (India, Netherlands), Rasa (Immerse) by Anjali Menon (India), Kuhiro Pariko Sahar (A Hidden Tale Behind The Mist) by Pasang Dawa Sherpa (Nepal), Moving Bangladesh by Nuhash Humayun (Bangladesh), Last Time On Earth by Paromita Dhar (India, France), Ghol (The Catch) by Rishi Chandna and Second Chance by Subhadra Mahajan (India).

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