India’s Shame – Zero, Zero, Zero at Cannes Festival

We’ve said this a gazillion times.

The Indian film industry comprises of a bunch of jokers who, when they are not stealing (Ghajini), churn out utter garbage like Chandni Chowk to China or Villu.

Look at any serious film festival or award ceremony. Our Bollywood buffoons are nowhere in the picture.

If at all India is in the limelight at any of these film festivals or awards, you can rest assured a foreigner is involved – like Danny Boyle with Slumdog Millionaire or Richard Attenborough with Gandhi.

No Can Do at Cannes
Take the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, for instance.

India has ZERO, as in Z E R O films in the Official Selection.

Forget countries like U.S., France, UK or Spain that invariably have a presence in the Official Selection.

Even lesser movie-nations like Argentina, Denmark, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Palestinian Territory have films in the prestigious Official Selection – Competition category.

India has none.

The reasons for the sorry plight of the Indian film industry on the world stage are not hard to find.

Our stars can’t act, our directors are clueless and we don’t have writers. Bollywood and its smaller siblings like Kollywood often take the easy way out by stealing, which carries no shame or legal liability in India.

When was the last time an Indian film was in the Official Selection list at Cannes? Must have been in the paleolithic era, if at all.

And how many movies does India make a year – Over 1,000, according to Screen Australia.

Folks, the Indian film industry is a triumph of theft and quantity over quality and innovation.

Just in case you are curious, here are the 20 films in the race for the top honors in Official Selection – Competition category at Cannes 2009:

* ANTICHRIST directed by Lars VON TRIER
* BAK-JWI (THIRST) directed by PARK Chan-Wook
* BRIGHT STAR directed by Jane CAMPION
* CHUN FENG CHEN ZUI DE YE WAN (Spring Fever) directed by LOU Ye
* ENTER THE VOID directed by Gaspar NOÉ
* FISH TANK directed by Andrea ARNOLD
* KINATAY directed by Brillante MENDOZA
* LOOKING FOR ERIC directed by Ken LOACH
* TAKING WOODSTOCK directed by Ang LEE
* UN PROPHÈTE (A PROPHET) directed by Jacques AUDIARD
* VENGEANCE directed by Johnnie TO
* VINCERE directed by Marco BELLOCCHIO
* VISAGE (FACE) directed by TSAI Ming-Liang

14 Responses to "India’s Shame – Zero, Zero, Zero at Cannes Festival"

  1. Have you had any luck getting into
    Seems to be a disaster. Responds:

    Not loading.

  2. zxcvbnm3007   May 16, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I am following your post for the last 6 months. I would say I like your writing style second to my beloved writer Sujatha. Here after I shall post comments to your blog often. Here goes my first comment.

    BTW I solidly guess you are a lady who is solely responsible for writing this blog, so why do you use the word WE (husband?) very often? I am an Annamalai university alumni from cuddalore. I guess you too come from in and around that area. My anonymous email id is I am inspired by your work and planning to start a blog soon where I shall be blasting people much lesser 🙂 . IMHO opinion vocabulary is not a substitute for intelligence 🙂 Catch you later. Hope you delete the above if it passes through the scissor.

    SI: When was the last time an Indian film was in the Official Selection list at Cannes? Must have been in the paleolithic (It’s actually Palaeolithic) era, if at all.

    Me: Check your doctor for Alzheimer’s disease. We did it couple of years back. Responds:

    1. Vandatangapa Comedy Pasanga (here come the clowns).

    You write above: Check your doctor for Alzheimer’s disease. We did it couple of years back.

    What did you do a couple of years back. Scratched your cojones? Probably.

    Veyil was NOT in Cannes’ Official Selection. Here is the Official Selection list for 2007 from the Cannes Film Festival Web site.

    Where is Veyil…just because some idiot screens Veyil in some tent in Cannes does NOT mean Veyil belongs in the Official Selection list for the Cannes Film Festival.

    Veyil was screened under the Cannes Festival’s Tous Les Cinémas du Monde section, which no one takes seriously. Except some long-tailed schmucks in Nellikuppam or Vriddhachalam, who get a Pavlovian itch to scratch their cojones whenever Cannes and an Indian name are jointly mentioned in a newspaper or a web site.

    We stand by what we wrote. When was the last time an Indian film was in the Official Selection list at Cannes? Must have been in the Paleolithic era, if at all.

    (Yes, Paleolithic is written with an upper-case P.)

    2. You write: IMHO opinion vocabulary is not a substitute for intelligence

    Your ignorance is only matched by your asinine arrogance.

    Look at you. Not only do you get your facts wrong but you also write some drivel and insist you are right. The next time your cojones start itching, don’t go near a keyboard. Go, take a shower.

  3. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Btw, ‘ParuthiVeeran’ won a ‘Netpac award – special mention’ in Berlin International films festival.

    ‘Kanchivaram’ (Yes, this was the one I forgot to add in your review list) was official entries to Toronto Film festival and other three.

    ‘Veyyil’ was screened in Cannes film festival, and others such as Shanghai, etc.

    ‘Kalloori’ [based on dharmapuri (three girls got burnt alive) incident] made into Goa film festival.

    When comparing to Bollywood, some regional movies come up with sensible stories and win awards too. Only thing is they dont gain popularity and we dont get to see them. Sometimes I don’t agree that Bollywood is synonymous to Indian Film industry, as it does not represent the whole film industry of India. It is just that an industry watched by comparatively larger number of people in India. Responds:

    Regarding your point on Veyil and Cannes, please see our response to the previous commenter.

  4. gnair91   May 16, 2009 at 7:32 am

    wat bout kites? Responds:


    See the 2009 Cannes Official Selection list here. Do you see Kites there.

  5. Ænima   May 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I think zx#$@#$@# was probably indicating that there should be an a before the e.. Palaeolithic Vs. Paleolithic (rather than upper case P).. blissfully unaware that we leave out that A in America.

    That’s another reason why I think that the Fake IPL Player has lot of American exposure.. he named Gilchrist as “Pedophile Priest” and someone corrected him that it should be “Paedophile Priest”.. but that could also be because lot of internet exposure rather than American exposure. Responds:

    You write: I think zx#$@#$@# was probably indicating that there should be an a before the e.. Palaeolithic Vs. Paleolithic (rather than upper case P).. blissfully unaware that we leave out that A in America.

    Hard to say. Perhaps, it was focusing on both – the missing ‘a’ and the upper-case P.

  6. gnair91   May 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

    my mistake. Kites is being screened for potential buyers.

  7. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Yes I know, it was not an official entry, explains why I said just ‘it was screened’.

    But I do believe those movies stand above the other-usual-shit produced by Indian film industry.

    Btw, are you happy that your favorite loose-paiya is back with a bang [just losing two seats compared to the last election]..! Responds:

    You write above: Btw, are you happy that your favorite loose-paiya is back with a bang [just losing two seats compared to the last election]..!

    You won’t believe it but just 30 seconds back we were talking about Loose Paiya’s victory at the hustings here. 🙂

    Maybe all those ‘six-hour indefinite fast’ drama worked. Maybe, he’s providing a better administration compared to that Loose Pisachi. Maybe, the DMK ran a better campaign.

    BTW, did Sun TV help DMK a lot?

  8. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Ha.. Wise people think alike..

    You’ll not believe this, if you have watched all those stage-campaigns by Jayalalitha [Jaya Tv]. Only for Karuna, such a mass gathering and raising have been seen. After first two days of campaigning, Karuna paiya stayed in Hospital citing bad health, while stalin continued to campaign. But comparatively less crowd was there. Worst part is that when people like P.Chidambaram went to campaign – number of heads were countable.

    Administration – it is not better. When there was a regular law and order in Jaya’s period, his period does not provide adequate security to people, even in cities. Secondly, Non-hindus are most unlikely to vote for Jaya [thanks to anti-forcible conversion law & BJP support in the past]. Government employees too are in the list [thanks to her strict treatment of Govt employees].

    There was a four hour power cut in chennai on the night previous to elections. Opposition criticises that ruling party used it to distribute ‘covers’ that contain money [Rs.1500 Minimum] at every doorstep.

    Azhagiri is said to have distributed [Refer: Articles in Ananda vikatan & Junior Vikatan] not less than Rs.5000 per head. In some villages, all the help that people need – for ex: Changing roof to the house, etc.

    The interview process for election candidates – headed by MK, Stalin and Anbazhagan – had the first question ‘How much can you spend?’. People’s answers were of figures in Crores starting from 2. [Junior Vikatan] So, the party has at least forty crorepatis.

    DMK’s last assembly elections manifesto contained free schemes – such as Free colour TV, Free LPG Gas connection & Stoves, Free land, etc. And they executed them too.

    In front of all these [while so much that go unsaid by me here], ADMK, MDMK, PMK, DMDK and all, are ju-ju-bis..!! PMK did not win a seat out of seven. DMDK [Vijayakanth] as expected, lost all the places.

    Sun TV? Not to forget Sun News, Kalaignar TV, Kalaignar News, Mega TV [Congress Thanga balu], Vasanth TV [Congress Vasanthakumar]. Noise was so much this time. Responds:

    We don’t think the concentration of so much power, so much money, so much media in the hands of one family is good either for for democracy or for the Tamil people.

    But in a democracy, Vox Populi, Vox Dei.

    So, what can the Tamils in Tamil Nadu do now? Nothing except to wait for the scorpion to bite their bottoms.

  9. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I forgot to add these:

    DMDK [Vijayakanth] separated votes of ADMK, because neutral people who do not want to vote the ruling party saw DMDK as an alternative option. DMDK gained thousands of votes [as much as 1 Lakh votes in some places], while ADMK lost by marginal difference [some 15000, 7000, 4000 etc.]. There is also a suspicion, that, upon the direction and funding of congress, Vijayakanth contested alone [without any alliance] so that it would separate votes of ADMK. Also, congress can come to know the actual ‘strength’ of Vijayakanth’s party if it does so.

    P.Chidamabaram was trailing in his place [Sivagangai] be thousands of vote, and was about to lose. ADMK was at the edge of winning. But the announcement did not happen. Then the sudden re-counting of votes started as directed by election commission, and finally Chidambaram won by 4000 of votes or so.

    Vaiko [ally of Jaya] contested in VirudhuNagar, where Actor Karthik was also contesting separately. [The suspicion here is DMK asked him to contest in this place to separate votes of Vaiko.]. Finally Vaiko lost it to Congress here, with the difference of 15000 votes. Another noteworthy criticism by Vaiko here is, the total counted votes was 23000 more than that totally voted.

    Altogther, it was an interesting show of months..!! Responds:

    The days ahead are going to be tough for Jayalalitha and AIADMK as money, leaders and followers tend to follow the winner (DMK).

    Jaya’s health issues, her antagonism toward the media, the need for immense amount of money to take on the DMK and absence of a strong second-rung in AIADMK will make it tougher for the party to recoup.

    Jaya’s best hope now is to create a strong rift within the DMK between Azhagiri and the rest.

  10. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Boopalan Responds:

    You write above: “So, what can the Tamils in Tamil Nadu do now?”

    Take us with you, or take Karuna paiya with you..! 😉

    You write above: “Jaya’s best hope now is to create a strong rift within the DMK between Azhagiri and the rest.”

    That is expected to happen very soon after Karuna lands on Kannammapet. Although Party may not break, it would have lost its balls by then 😉 Responds:


    There could be a KDMK party after Loose Paiya kicks the bucket. Karunanidhi DMK as opposed to the DMK.

    Near term – Hope for friction between Azhagiri & his siblings.

  11. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I still miss some interesting facts. [It is because, I cannot cover the entire election festival of Tamilnad, in few comments..]

    – Karuna eyes cabinet berths for Azhagiri [First son to DhayaluAmmal-Karuna], Dayanidhi Maran [Second son of Maran], Kanimozhi [Daughter of Rajaathiammal-Karuna]. [I’m not sure Azhagiri knows Hindi/ english to bargain and land better deals in Delhi. Kanimozhi always delivers a speech with broken accent while she calls herself an orator and poet]

    – Actor T.Rajendar [if you still remember him ;-)], President of LDMK (Lakshiya DMK) has gained a total number of 3560 votes. And lost the deposit.

    – Actor Napoleon [Now an IT entrepreneur, Jeevan Technologies] has won. []

    – Actor Ritheesh [known as Sivakumar in elections] has won. He is second to only Azhagiri in distributing money and sometimes referred to as ‘ATM Actor’. He is one of the joker actors and does movies for fun but kills the audience. You may read about him in Wikipedia. He distributed Biriyani in theatres to the audience of his film. He once distributed Rs.500 to each person sitting in a bus, as part of a fun-programme by Ananda Vikatan. Responds:

    Only Vadivelu can save Tamil Nadu. 😉

  12. boopalanj   May 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    And, if you have not forgot, Stalin [Second Son of DhayaluAmmal-Karuna, Father of Udhayanidhi Stalin who produced the epic movie – Kuruvi] is seen the chief-ministerial heir of Karuna, currently being Local Admin minister of TamilNad. Also the party’s deputy gen-sec now.

  13. vetrivel   May 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    indian movies are released only on indian festivals, like diwali, pongal.
    give a sh*t for other festivals. Responds:

    Happy Hours started early?

  14. a4apple   May 18, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Get your facts correctly dude.

    The following is not a comprehensive list:

    Sahji N Karun – 1989 – won Golden Camera for Piravi (birth/Malayalam) & 1994 – Nominated for Golden Palm Swaham . Please watch ‘Piravi’ an excellent work on Indian emergency period.

    Murali Nair – 19999 – won Golden Camera for ‘Marana Simhasanam’ (Death Throne/Malayalam). If you are wondering what Golden Camera is, it is given to the best debutant director at Cannes Film Festival.

    You know what? You lack the ‘attitude’ and that makes you a total failure when you do a Simon Cowell. Matter of factly, we don’t call a Simon Cowell, Simon Cowell any more. In respect of Cannes Film Festival we have already started to call then ‘Inglorious Basterds’ (with an e) in this part of the globe. Responds:

    1. You write above: Get your facts correctly dude.

    This is what we wrote.

    When was the last time an Indian film was in the Official Selection list at Cannes? Must have been in the paleolithic era, if at all.

    Are you completely out of your mind. No, that was not a question.

    Since you cite 1989 above, let’s take that as the starting point for our Cannes argument.

    In the movie/entertainment world of 2009, 1989 certainly is the Paleolithic era. Let’s see how easily you can lay your hands on 1989 era movies (even the award-winning ones) in a store for purchase or rental.

    Assuming we (Indians) make over 1,000 movies a year, we’ve made over 20,000 movies in the last two decades.

    And yet you are able to throw up no more than three Indian movies at Cannes over a 20-year period that includes well over 20,000 films.

    Dude, your pitifully meager examples prove our point: India’s Shame – Zero, Zero, Zero at Cannes Festival.

    BTW, it’s Inglourious Basterds not Inglorious Basterds. It’s scheduled to debut in the U.S. on August 21 (Wiki).

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