Entertainment News

Nandita Das’s ‘Manto’ to be premiered at Cannes Film Festival

The film will be screened in the Un Certain Regard section.

Nandita Das’s biographical drama Manto has been selected in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The Un Certain Regard category typically features 20 films that tell unique stories in non-traditional ways.

The announcement was made today along with the rest of the line-up by festival director Thierry Fremaux in Paris. The 71st edition will be held between May and 19. Cate Blanchett is the president of the festival’s official competition jury.

Un Certain Regard is a competition section separate from the Palme d’Or, with one prize winner announced in the category every year. The jury president this year is Benicio del Toro. The entries in this section are also valid for the FIPRESCI Prize.

Manto will compete with Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, Andréa Bescond and Eric Metayer’s Little Tickles, French-Morrocan director Meyem Benm’Barek’s Sofia, and Ali Abbasi’s Border, among others.

Das’s film traces the career of author Saadat Hasan Manto in Mumbai and Pakistan after the Partition. The movie stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manto, Rasika Dugal as Manto’s wife Safia, Rajshri Deshpande as author Ismat Chughtai, and Tahir Raj Bhasin as Manto’s friend and Hindi film hero Shyam. Also in the cast are Paresh Rawal and Rishi Kapoor.

The poster was unveiled at Cannes in 2017. Das also directed a short film, In Defence of Freedom, as a prelude to Manto.

Indian films that have been previously screened in this section include Gautam Ghose’s Antarjali Yatra (1987), Aribam Syam Sharma’s Ishanou (1990), Shaji N Karun’s Swaham (1994), Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely (2012) and Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan (2015). Murali Nair’s Marana Simhasanam won the Camera d’Or for best first feature in the Un Certain Regard section in 1999.

The festival will open this year with Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-language thriller Everybody Knows, starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin. Celebrated Swiss-French director Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Livre D’Image, Jafar Panahi’s Three Faces and Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman are among the films competing for the Palme d’or. Other films in the section include Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, David Robert Mitchell’s Under The Silver Lake, Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum, Stephane Brizé’s At War, Lee-Chang Dong’s Burning, Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s Shoplifters and Jia Zhang-Ke’s Ash Is Purest.

Among the films in the special screenings section are Gilles Porte’s documentary The State Against Mandela and The Others, 10 Years in Thailand, which has contributions from Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Wim Wenders’s documentary, Pope FrancisA Man of his Word. Among the confirmed midnight screenings are Joe Penna’s Arctic, and Yoon Jong-Bing’s The Spy Gone North. Fremaux is likely to add a few titles over the next few days.

Netflix will boycott the festival to protest the ban on films produced by streaming platforms from the competition section, Chief Content officer Ted Sarandos told Variety.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.