Cannes International Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux says he suffered a backlash from his committee members for selecting Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directed Devdas for screening at the carnival back in 2002.
Fremaux said the main reason he was criticized was because
people did not expect to see such a grand and commercial film
at a platform like Cannes.
However, the director said he loved Devdas, starring
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and is
happy that he decided to screen the film despite opposition.
"I was very happy with the selection of Devdas. I
thought it would bring something new and fresh to the
festival. It was based on a literary masterpiece by Sharat
Chandra Chattopadhyay. But a lot of people were against it,"
Fremaux said during an interactive session at NFDC's Film
"My own committee members were not in favour of selecting
the film. People usually don't come to Cannes to see such
films and that was the main reason for the backlash," he
India was the guest country at this year's edition of
Cannes to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema. The fest also
saw significant presence of Indian films as well as actors,
directors and producers.
Fremaux also lauded young Indian filmmakers, who are
travelling all around the globe and even Cannes with their
films and getting international recognition.
"The new breed of filmmakers from India is very promising.
They are dealing with interesting subject matter in their
films and that is what is attracting the international
"Earlier, we used to consider Bollywood to be synonymous
to Indian cinema. But now with the advent of many young
filmmakers we have realized that there is so much more to
Indian cinema," Fremaux said.