Nandita Das’s Manto to be Screened at Cannes

MANTO by Nandita Das

In the lineups announced for the Cannes International Film Festival on Thursday, Manto, directed by Nandita Das and co-produced by HP Studios along with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Sameer Dixit of Movie Makers, has made it to the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category that typically features 20 films which tell unique stories in non-traditional ways.

But as strange as it may sound, it is also true that India has gone unrepresented at the Cannes International Film Festival’s main Competition for almost 24 years now. The last Indian film which competed at what is undoubtedly the world’s most important and popular movie event was Shaji N. Karun’s Malayalam film “Swaham” in 1994.

The lineup of the 71st Cannes Film Festival was unveiled in Paris Thursday morning during a press conference live streamed from the Champs-Elysees. Festival Director Thierry Fremaux detailed the competition and other lineups of the 71st edition of the festival.

Fremaux and festival president Pierre Lescure revealed the coveted Official Selection, including films chosen for the main competition.

Fremaux started the lineup unveiling with special screenings and the Un Certain Regard section, which included Nandita Das’s Manto.

The film traces the career of author Saadat Hasan Manto in Mumbai and Pakistan after the Partition. The movie stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manto, Rasika Dugal as Manto’s wife Safia, Rajshri Deshpandeas author Ismat Chughtai, and Tahir Raj Bhasin as Manto’s friend and Hind film hero Shyam. Also in the cast are Paresh Rawal and Rishi Kapoor.

The competition lineup also includes Cannes favorites and a big U.S. name, Spike Lee, who will screen his new film BlacKKKlansman.

Among the special screenings are Wim Wenders’ “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” and “The State Against Mandela” and “The Others” by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte. Fremaux highlighted that the Pope would not be in Cannes to walk the red carpet.

Opening the festival will be Asgar Farhadi’s previously announced Spanish-language drama “Everybody Knows”, which will play out of competition. The film stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who will walk the red carpet to kick off the festivities on May 8, a day earlier than the fest’s usual Wednesday start date.

The Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8-May 19.

Here is the lineup:


  • Everbody Knows, Asghar Farhadi (opening night)
  • En Guerre (At War), Stéphane Brizé
  • Dogman, Matteo Garrone
  • Le Livre D’image, Jean-Luc Godard
  • Netemo Sametemo (Asako I & Ii), Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • Plaire Aimer Et Courir Vite (Sorry Angel), Christophe Honoré
  • Les Filles Du Soleil (Girls Of The Sun), Eva Husson
  • Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhang-Ke
  • Shoplifters, Kore-Eda Hirokazu
  • Capharnaüm (Capernaum), Nadine Labaki
  • Buh-Ning (Burning), Lee Chang-Dong
  • Blackkklansman, Spike Lee
  • Under The Silver Lake, David Robert Mitchell
  • 3 Faces, Jafar Panahi
  • Zimna Wojna (Cold War)Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Lazzaro FeliceAlice Rohrwacher
  • Yomeddine, A.B Shawky
  • Leto (L’été), Kirill Serebrennikov

Out Of Competition

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ron Howard
  • Le Grand Bain, Gilles Lellouche

Un Certain Regard

  • Border, Ali Abassi
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Bi Gan
  • Manto, Nandita Das
  • Girl, Lukas Dhont
  • Gueule D’ange (Angel Face), Vanessa Filho
  • Euphoria, Valeria Golino
  • Rafiki (Friend), Wanuri Kahiu
  • Mon Tissu Préféré (My Favorite Fabric), Gaya Jiji
  • Die Stropers (The Harvesters), Etienne Kallos
  • In My Room, Ulrich Köhler
  • El Angel, Luis Ortega
  • The Gentle Indifference Of The World, Adilkhan Yerzhanov
  • À Genoux Les Gars (Sextape), Antoine Desrosières

Special Screenings

  • Ten Years In Thailand, Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • The State Against Mandela And The Others, Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte
  • O Grande Circo Místico (Le Grand Cirque Mystique), Carlo Diegues
  • Les Âmes Mortes (Dead Souls), Wang Bing
  • À Tous Vents (To The Four Winds), Michel Toesca
  • La Traversée, Romain Goupil
  • Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Wim Wenders

Midnight Screenings

  • Arctic, Joe Penna
  • Gongjak (The Spy Gone North), Yoon Jong-Bing


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