Indian film ‘Manto’ set for Cannes Film Festival journey

Cannes, April 12 : Actress-filmmaker Nandita Das’ much-awaited “Manto” directorial, which stars actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, has made its way to the Un Certain Regard segment of the prestigious 71st Cannes Film Festival.

The official line-up was announced on the gala’s website on Thursday.

“Manto”, a biographical historical period drama film about the writer who is known for his writings around the partition of India and Pakistan, is the only Indian film in Un Certain Regard category of the gala. The film fest is to be held from May 8 to 19.

“We are in Cannes! ‘Manto’ is selected in the official section Un Certain Regards. Exciting moment for the entire crew and cast,” Nandita tweeted.

Nawazuddin wrote: “‘And it is possible that Saadat Hasan dies, but Manto remains alive’. Glad to inform that ‘Manto’ is selected for competition at Cannes 2018 in Un Certain Regard section. Congratulations Nandita Das and Team ‘Manto’.”

The film also features Tahir Raj Bhasin as Shyam Chaddha, who was Manto’s friend, confidant and inspiration for a number of stories.

Actress Rasika Dugal essays the role of Manto’s wife Safia, while Rajshri Deshpande will play the part of author Ismat Chughtai. Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor too also be seen essaying a minor role in the film.

The background score of the movie has been given by table maestro Zakir Hussain while the music has been composed by Sneha Khanwalkar.

Cannes Film Festival will this year open with Asghar Farhadi’s Spanish-language thriller “Everybody Knows”, starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin.

Among the films in the special screenings section are Gilles Porte’s documentary “The State Against Mandela and The Others”, “10 Years in Thailand” and Wim Wenders’s documentary “Pope Francis – A Man of his Word”.

Netflix has boycotted the festival to protest films produced by streaming platforms from being banned from the competition section.