Richa Chadda and her 'Masaan' co-stars made merry in Paris after their film bagged two awards at Cannes Film Festival 2015
It was double joy for debutant director Neeraj Ghaywan as his film 'Masaan' (crematorium) bagged two awards — the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI) International Jury of Film Critics prize and the Promising Future prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes film festival.
Actor Vikky Suvinder (left) and director Gurvinder Singh attend a photocall for their film 'Chauthi Koot' at Cannes. Pic/Getty Images
Neeraj celebrated the big win with producer Manish Mundra at a restaurant in Cannes, tucking into French cuisine. The star cast of his film — Richa Chadda, newcomers Vicky Kaushal (son of veteran Bollywood action director Sham Kaushal) and Shweta Tripathi — had left for Paris where they had a little bash of their own.
Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan at the awards ceremony. He tweeted to his mentor Anurag Kashyap... “See @anuragkashyap72 what your mentorship has got me to!”
Speaking from Paris, Richa says, “I had already left Cannes by the time the results were out. When I heard about it, we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. There was no better place to celebrate. We then headed to a French restaurant for dinner and danced the night away.”
Richa Chadda, director Neeraj Ghaywan, Shweta Tripathi and Vicky Kaushal pose during a photocall for their film Masaan at Cannes. Pic/AFP
Sanjay Mishra, who is also part of the film, was unable to travel to the festival due to a corporate shoot commitment in Uttar Pradesh. Says Mishra, “I got to know about the win from Manish Mundra. He told me I was lucky for him as I was also part of his earlier film, Ankhon Dekhi. Now I want Masaan to release. The film is hot right now and should be seen by the audience as soon as possible. I wish I was present at Cannes.”
The Un Certain Regard section runs parallel to the competition for the main prize, Palme d’Or, at the prestigious festival.
Neeraj, who assisted Anurag Kashyap for 'Gangs of Wasseypur' (2012), had earlier received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes when Masaan premiered on May 20.
Mundra, who is back in Mumbai, says, “I am ecstatic. It is a win for India. We had a truly global team that was driven by passion and honesty, and all that has gotten us so far. I can’t wait to show this film in India.
Masaan is slated to release in France on June 24 and plans are underway to screen it in Indian theatres soon. “I had always had the conviction in the amazing story of Masaan, right from the moment Varun Grover (writer) narrated it to me. Neeraj made an inspiring directorial debut with a heart wrenching story,” adds Mundra.
Apart from Masaan, another Indian film, Gurvinder Singh’s 'Chauthi Koot' (The Fourth Direction), had also competed in the festival’s Un Certain Regard category.
Also in the race
>> Love Comes Later, a short film by Indian origin filmmaker based in New York Sonejuhi Sinha, competed with nine other films at La Semaine de la Critique, a parallel section of the festival for the CineAlta Award. The 10-minute film stars Mississippi Masala actress Sarita Choudhury and Indian-American Vega Tamotia. The film was chosen from 1,700 submissions worldwide and screened at the festival.
>> Another Indian-origin filmmaker, London-based Asif Kapadia (who made The Warrior (2001) with Irrfan) made it to the official selection of the Cannes festival with his film Amy, a biopic on the late singer Amy Winehouse.