Magazine article Variety

He's India's Man at Cannes

Magazine article Variety

He's India's Man at Cannes

Article excerpt

INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE

Producer-director Anurag Kashyap has three films in the fest, and has contributed to another

Anurag Kashyap ended a years-long drought for Hindi films at Cannes with last year's six-hour Gangs of Wasseypur, which premiered in Directors' Fortnight. He's back this year with a posse of pics, and received the Order of Arts and Letters from French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti on May 20 at the fest.

Besides Directors' Fortnight player Ugly, which he directed, Kashyap produced Monsoon Shootout (Midnight Screening) and Critics' Week choice The Lunchbox (Dabba). He contributed a segment to omnibus film Bombay Talkies, which pays homage to 100 years of Indian cinema and gets a special gala screening at the fest.

The Indian filmmaker, whose career matched the growth of the multiplex on the subcontinent, prefers to make edgy, decidedly non- Bollywood movies, the kinds of films he likes to watch. He is influenced by movies from the West, including Vittorio De Sica's classic films. In fact, it was seeing the Italian helmer's 1948 classic Bicycle Thieves in 1993 that made him give up studying zoology in college and embark on a film career.

Kashyap made a name for himself with the 2009 hit Dev D., based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's oft-adapted 1917 romance Devdas. But his success was hardly a given.

Kashyap's career got off to a rocky start, with 2003's Paanch, about five college students who fall into a life of drugs and crime. The pic ran afoul of government censors, who said it glorified violence and drug abuse; the film has never been released. Allwyn Kalicharan was shelved in 2003 after its star, Anil Kapoor, ankled mid-production. Kashyap says the actor lost faith in the project and Kapoor has never publicly spoken about the film.

Kashyap also raised hackles by tackling touchy subjects such as the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts in Black Friday, a pic released three years after its 2004 completion following a lengthy court battle filed by suspects in the explosion. …

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