What’s more important at Cannes – Films or Fashion?

What’s more important at Cannes – Films or Fashion?

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If there’s any global event after Oscars we count on, it’s the Cannes Film Festival. Over the years, it has turned out that the main focus of the Cannes Film Festival has strangely shifted from appreciating the films that are chosen for screening at the festival to ogling and scanning the leading ladies and gentlemen walk the red carpet in alluring outfits.

Let’s trace back to the history to see how it all started.

The world’s first annual international film festival was inaugurated at Venice in 1932. The Venice Film Festival had become a vehicle for Fascist and Nazi propaganda. Outraged by this, France decided to organize an alternative film festival.  The first annual Cannes Film Festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939 at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera but the outbreak of World War II forced its cancellation.

Official Cannes Poster, 1939, first cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

After a span of 6 years, when the World War II came to an end, in 1946 France’s provincial government approved a revival of the ‘Festival de Cannes’.  Ever since, the founding purpose of the Festival de Cannes has been to draw attention to and raise the profile of films, contribute towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry around the globe and celebrating cinema at an international level.

Official Cannes Poster, 1946, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

Films like The Lost Weekend directed by Billy Wilders, Open City by Roberto Rossellini, The Battle of the Rails by French director René Clement and Brief Encounter by British director David Lean were amongst the screened movies at the first Cannes Film Festival. After facing a lot of ups and downs through the years, Cannes Film Festival today stands as the most prestigious film festivals in the world. More than 30,000 people come to Cannes each May to attend the festival, about 100 times more than the number of film devotees who showed up for the first Cannes in 1946.

Selected movies, The Battle of the Rails,1946, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion Selected movies, Brief Encounter, 1946, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

Selected movies, Open City, 1946, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion 

Since its inception, various Indian films and directors have succeeded in making their mark at this eminent festival. In 1946, India marked its first victory at the Cannes Film Festival with Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar that starred Kamini Kaushal and Zohra Seghal. The film won the festival’s highest honor, the Grand Prix award.

Award Winning Films/Movies, Neecha Nagar, 1946, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

This year, Festival de Cannes celebrated its 71st Edition at the French Riviera with a gala of movies from across the globe. The 2018 female- led jury consisted of Cate Blanchett- President (Australian actress, producer), Chang Chen (Chinese Actor), Ava DuVernay (American writer, director, and producer), Robert Guédiguian (French director, writer, and producer), Khadja Nin (Burundian songwriter, composer, and singer), Léa Seydoux, (French actress, Kristen Stewart(American actress), Denis Villeneuve(Canadian director, writer) and Andrey Zvyagintsev(Russian director, writer).

Cannes Film Festival Jury, 2018, first Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

It was a special moment for India as Nandita Das’s Manto that featured Nawazuddin Siddiqui alongside Rasika Dugal, Divya Dutta and Tahir Raj Bhasin made it to the official selection under the Un-Certain Regard category and was screened at the Cannes Film festival. ‘Manto’ was able to garner a standing ovation from the audience. Among the films which were screened at the India Pavilion of 71st Cannes Film Festival were Gera’s Sir, Dhanush’s English-French language film The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, Assamese film Village Rockstars, Malayalam film Bhayanakam, Bengali movie Nagarkirtan and Sinjar, a film from Lakshadweep made in the Jasari language, Kia and the Cosmos among others besides Manto.

Actor Tahir Raj Bhasin, from left, director Nandita Das, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'Manto' at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, 2018

Manto Cast, Cannes Film Festival 2018, Ciceroni, Shopping Guide, City Guide

Ciceroni, Shopping Guide City Guide, Cannes Film Festival 2018

Tillotama Shome, Ciceroni, Sir

Tillotama Shome, Cannes Film Festival 2018, Rohena Gera Sir

Tillotama Shome, Cannes Film Festival 2018

Ciceroni, Shopping Guide, City Guide, Cannes Film Festival 2018

The first look poster of award-winning director Rahat Kazmi’s feature film based on Ismat Chugtai’s most celebrated and controversial story Lihaaf (The Quilt) was launched at India Pavilion on May 12.

Poster Launch, The Quilt, Lihaaf, 2018, Cannes film festival, history of Cannes, Film or fashion

Cannes Film Festival 2018, The Quilt Poster Launch, Ciceroni, City Guide, Shopping Guide

Besides the Indian films, the other films that got critic reviews and will be looked forward by the cinema goers are:

1.     BlacKkKlansman

2.   Burning

3.   Capernaum

4.   Climax

5.   Cold War

6.   Girls of the Sun

7.   Shoplifters

8.   The House That Jack Built

9.   Under the Silver Lake

On the side lines of all these cinematic delight of absorbing stories from different nooks of the world, there were the “Red Carpet Steps” where people raved and ranted about what people wore. Whether we like it or not, these red carpet moments of the festival draws the most media attention. Quite a moment of dilemma, whether to appreciate and / or berate the dress or rather talk about the movies.

We, at Ciceroni, chose to do both while changing the priorities though from Fashion first to second.

Representing India were Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Huma Qureshi and Kangana Ranaut; not as a part of any film of course but product partnerships. Their looks created a storm of discussion over social media. Deepika Padukone’s looks were criticized a lot for the lack of imagination of her stylist whereas Aishwarya and Sonam scored brownies in that department with their sharp stylists.

Go ahead, decide for yourself, which look is your favorite ?






About the Author

Aishwarya Menon

She is a dreamer on the cusp of an ancient civilization, waiting to break free and soar into new frontiers of expression and understanding. She loves writing fashion and travel stories.

Aishwarya Menon

One Reply to “What’s more important at Cannes – Films or Fashion?”

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