'The Cinema Traveller' - The Only Indian Film To Make It To Cannes Classics This Year!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on April 21, 2016

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's documentary The Cinema Traveler will be screened in the Cannes Classics section at this year's edition of the festival. The film will be showcased in the Cinema section at Cannes Classics - which showcases documentaries made on the subject of cinema.

The Cinema Traveler is based on the subject of travelling cinema a.k.a touring talkies. Travelling cinema has been a popular concept for several decades in Maharashtra in which films have been screened around the state in specially erected tents by companies. The docu bears the distinction of being the first ever Indian docu to make it to Cannes.

Abraham and Madheshiya have been working and researching this subject for quite a while. They have conducted a series of photo exhibitions and installations on the the concept of touring talkies in festivals and events across the world.

Amit Madheshiya is an independent photographer while Shirley Abraham has directed documentaries for brands such as Fox Television Studios, BBC Radio Four and Doordarshan.

The official synopsis of the film states that "Showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year. Seven decades on, as their cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, their patrons are lured by slick digital technology. A benevolent showman, a shrewd exhibitor and a maverick projector mechanic bear a beautiful burden - to keep the last traveling cinemas of the world running."

Besides this, A J Kardar's Pakistani film Jago Hua Savera will be screened in the Restored Prints section of Cannes Classics.

Based on a novel by Manik Bandopadhya the film tells the story of fishermen based in East Bengal. Jago Hua Savera had won the Grand Prix at The Moscow International Film Festival in 1959. The film's screenplay is written by famed poet and writer Faiz Ahmed Faiz and features an interesting mix of Indian and Pakistani actors including Tripti Mitra and Zurain Rakshi.

The film has been restored by Deluxe Restoration London and was commissioned by Anjum Taseer. While the restored version of the film has been presented by the Nauman Taseer Foundation.

The Cannes Classics showcases new or restored prints of old films, tributes to filmmakers, foreign cinema, documentaries on cinema with an intent to help new audiences to rediscover yesteryear classics.

The other documentaries to be showcased in this section includes Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens's Bright Lights:Starring Carrie Fischer and Debbie Reynolds and Pierre Filmon's Close Encounters With Vilmos Zsigmond. The other features to be showcased in Cannes Classic section this year includes Claude Leloch's Un Homme Et Une Femme (A Man and a Woman) and Pietro Germi's Signore & signori (The Birds, the Bees and the Italians).  

The Cannes Classics will also showcase Raymond Depardon's Faits Divers and Frederick Wiseman's Hospital as a tribute to Depardon and Wiseman.

Lastly, renowned director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) will conduct the annual cinema masterclass which will be hosted by film critic Michel Ciment.  Click here to know more about the lineup.


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