Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has today released the lineup of films that will be screened at Cannes Film Festival. The lineup includes the world premiere of Shri R Madhavan starrer Rocketry, also directed by Shri Madhavan. While Rocketry- The Nambi Effect will be premiered at Palais K, the other movies will be screened at the Olympia theater. The movies, to be screened at the 75th edition of the film festival are as below:
1. Rocketry – The Nambi Effect
Director: Shri R. Madhavan
Producer: Shri R. Madhavan
Language: Hindi, English, Tamil
Rocketry – The Nambi Effect is a retelling of Shri Nambi Narayanan’s life story as it unravels in an interview by the celebrated superstar and Badshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, on a TV program. Like many great minds, Nambi is also deeply flawed, his genius and obsession earning him enemies and detractors, thus making him a compelling modern protagonist.
Beyond serving as a treatise for the vindication of quiet achievers in society, the film also challenges the audience to take up the responsibility of recognising, and celebrating the special contributors, whether it be a Nambi Narayanan or a teacher educating poor kids, soldiers at the border, doctors serving in remote villages, or volunteers helping the needy. It also raises a powerful question – why aren’t we standing up collectively to defend our innocent and powerless against the hegemony of the powers that be? For every Nambi, there are thousands of silent achievers fighting for justice.
These stories need to be heard. It starts with Nambi, but he’s just the beginning.
Director: Shri Nikhil Mahajan
Producer: Blue Drop Films Pvt. Ltd.
It is the story of one NISHIKANT DESHMUKH – who lives by the banks of a river, in an old mansion with his family. Through generations NISHI and his family have been rent collectors. They own a lot of property around the old part of town. While his grandfather, Naropant, suffers from dementia, his father Nilkanth, has chosen to forget.
At the end of his bloodline, Nishikant is frustrated with his life. He hates the ways of the old town, he hates the insignificance of his life, he hates that he has been incapable – but like most Indian men, he chooses to internalize his hatred and blame it on factors like tenants and the town that are only incidental, if not entirely faultless. Nishikant collects rent and plays video games in his small apartment far away from the river. He has moved out of his family mansion, leaving his wife and daughter to live with his parents. He spends his time being angry at the river and everything it brings with it. He knows he is a lost cause.
However, life and death have always coincided, coalesced seamlessly into each other and that amalgamation feels even more palpable in the town where one person’s death is a way of living for so many.
3. Alpha Beta Gamma
Director: Shri Shankar Srikumar
Producer: Choti Film Productions
Jai’s directorial career is on the uptick, though his marital life is on the rocks and he is trying to move on with his girlfriend Kaira. Mitali, his wife – wants a divorce so that she can marry her engineer boyfriend Ravi, who is sober and caring, as against her unpredictable soon-to-be ex-husband.
When Jai drops in to talk divorce, Ravi is in the flat, the apartment that once used to be Jai and Mitali’s house. Ravi realising that it will be awkward for the estranged couple to discuss divorce in front of him decides to leave.
But before one of the men can make way for the other in Mitali’s life, the Corona virus lockdown intervenes.
Now three souls afflicted with the love virus struggle to decide what they want, and at what cost, with nowhere to go but inside.
4. Boomba Ride
Director: Shri Biswajeet Bora
Producer: Quatermoon Productions
From GOD ON THE BALCONY director Biswajeet Bora, BOOMBA RIDE is a scathing comic satire of corruption in India’s rural education system – and one 8-year old boy (newcomer Indrajit Pegu, in a remarkable performance) who knows how to rig the game for himself. Inspired by a true story, the film was shot in the state of Assam on the banks of the Brahmaputra River with a mostly nonprofessional cast.
The story revolves around an impoverished school where there is only one (unwilling) student, Boomba. Desperate to keep their jobs and funding, the teachers wind up bribing the hilariously impassive and uncooperative boy to show up to class – while Boomba’s secret wish is to attend the better-funded school in town where a slightly older and very pretty girl just happens to be a student.
“BOOMBA RIDE is a film that is very close to my heart. I was born and brought up in rural Assam. I have witnessed similar kinds of stories out there where the government run schools have no proper facilities that a school should have,” comments director Biswajeet Bora. “I believe only by growing awareness and taking responsibility for educating our poor and underprivileged classes, can we make a change in a broader way. Making the film wasn’t easy as I shot with non-actors and also there were language barriers among us. However, I regard it as one of my best experiences to date because people around the village were very true and innocent, which really touched my heart. The location of the village was as pristine as it is seen and most interestingly we shot in real locations with local people. The protagonist Boomba is equally innocent and it is hard to believe that he hasn’t seen a theater hall in his life. I believe people will connect with this serio-comic narrative, which is nothing but a subtle representation of a real world that actually exists in today’s world.”
Director: Shri Achal Mishra
Language: Hindi, Marathi
Pankaj is an aspiring actor who is making ends meet by doing street plays for the local municipality. He dreams of making it big, and along with his friend Prashant, is saving enough to move to Mumbai in a month’s time. Back at his home, his family is under financial strain post the lockdown, and his retired father is now looking for a job.
He wanders around the town through the day, meeting his theatre peers, being bossed around by his seniors, and giving out life advice to his juniors. After a meeting with a Mumbai-based filmmaker ends in an unexpected manner, he has a change of heart, and decides to give up his savings for his father’s job.
On returning home one evening, he is asked to accompany his father for a job opening in a nearby town in a couple of days. The trip and the job will cost money, and the family has to arrange for it till then. When Pankaj is asked to arrange for a bike for the trip, he dismisses, running away from his responsibilities.
6. Tree Full of Parrots
Director: Shri Jayaraj
Producer: Navaneet Films
Eight year old boy Poonjan is not an ordinary boy. He earns a living by doing small jobs like fishing in the back waters and looks after his family consisting of a drunkard father, grandfather and great grandfather. His mother eloped with another person years back.
One day while fishing Poonjan saw a blind man sitting alone in the Boat yard who seemed to have lost his way home. He is demented, and only remembers a certain tree full of Parrots in front of his house. An attempt to report this man in the police station was futile.
On the way through River banks he enquired, but nobody was able to guide them. Disheartened with the outcome of their journey, Poonjan was about to give up on the quest. Right then, he heard the sound of a parrot which lead him to the “tree full of parrots “!
At last Poonjan decided to find the way back to the Blind man’s house by trying to spot the tree full of Parrots.
Although the blind man’s son and daughter-in-law extended a warm welcome, something seemed fishy. Poonjan’s suspicion was confirmed when he overheard their conversation. While selling their current home and moving to a new one, they were hoping to get rid of the blind man. Through the conversation it became evident that they consider the blind man a burden, one that needs to be discarded.
While leaving Poonjan said goodbye to the blind man and got on to the boat. However, knowing what he knows about the blind man’s fate, Poonjan’s conscience refused to leave him alone. Without anyone’s knowledge, he decides to invite the blind man on the journey back. Poonjan, accompanied by the blind man, rows the boat into the horizon.