Vivek Agnihotri took his pride-filled, patriotic desi dil (with Yeh Mera India, I love my India playing in his head possibly) to Cannes. Why, you ask? For the screening of a 15-minute bit from his latest film, Tashkent Files. And while he was there, he tweeted an article saying how the segment of his unfinished film starring Naseeruddin Shah, got a ‘standing ovation at Cannes’.
Tashkent Files was playing at the India Pavillion – not a competitive section of the festival. For the uninitiated – the India Pavillion is organised by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, where a few films are selected to get the word out on them, before a wide release. Some other films playing at the India Pavillion are Rima Das’s Village Rockstars, Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan and Sinjar (a Jasari-film from Lakshadweep) among others.
Nandita Das’s Manto played the the festival’s Un Certain Regard section of the festival, and got a standing ovation. Even Rohena Gera’s Sir played in the festival’s competitive section.
It’s important to know the difference here – films that get ‘selected’ to compete for the Palm d’Or and the ones that are pushed by a country’s ministry in their respective pavillion. Not to say it’s not a big enough deal – but Tashkent Files is still an unfinished film, and hence not eligible to compete at Cannes.
So Vivek Agnihotri *lied* about his film getting a ‘standing ovation at Cannes’. And, when someone called him out on it, his response was unsurprisingly banal.
Then he even found some time to ‘celebrate’ how the Cannes film festival was ‘proud’ of the Indian national flag.
See how nicely his image is cropped to showcase the ‘French love Indian flag’ aspect. Adjoining that is a shot of what the entire Village International at #Cannes2018 looks lkke. And this is only one side it. There are hundreds of flags from all countries. It’s the UN of Film. pic.twitter.com/bowKpfmpkH
— kalpana nair (@kalpananair) May 21, 2018
He was called out on that as well, which showed a picture of the hundreds of flags on display at the Cannes Film Festival. Apparently, the festival has the flags of all the countries participating. Yes, Vivek Agnihotri – Cannes is as ‘proud’ of the Indian national flag as much as it cares about the Kenyan flag or Polish for that matter. Get a grip.
Comedian Kunal Kamra who capped the conversation with a ‘polite inquiry’.
Agnihotri has used Twitter to revive his career in the limelight, after making films as forgettable (and scarring) as the Hate Story franchise. One can’t help but be reminded of *that* pheku friend we all had in school, who would blatantly lie about things.
For the record, screening a film at the Cannes bazaar is NOT equal to an official Cannes selection.
Thank you for the entertainment though, Mr Agnihotri.