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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

'Road Movie', first Indian film picked up at Cannes market

Agencies - May 20, 2009

With Bollywood heavyweights like, 'Kites', 'My Name is Khan' and 'Kambakkht Ishq' vying for attention at the Cannes market this year, Dev Benegal's 'Road Movie' stole the thunder as the leading global sales agent Fortissimo Films has picked up its distribution rights. 

The film's leading lady Tannishtha Chatterjee, who was recently at the French Film Festival to promote the film, is elated to be a part of what she calls, "travelling cinema" and the first Indian movie to be picked up by the international sale giant at the Cannes. "The film is a kind of cinema which is bound to have a universal appeal. It is like a dream, a fantasy-like film whose content goes across the boundaries," Tannishtha said. 

Tannishtha, who has tasted success internationally with her BAFTA nominated film 'Brick Lanes', plays the love interest of the film's protagonist, actor Abhay Deol in the 'Road Movie'. Produced by 'Lost in Translation' fame Ross Katz and Susan Landau, the film revolves around Deol's character, a truck driver who undertakes a life changing journey.  Deol meets different people, including a young boy, a tribal woman, a silly and a wise man in the process of his journey. 

"This journey which Abhay's character goes through is life transforming and it can be felt by anybody and everybody. That is what makes it cross boundaries," Tannishtha said. 

The film was a part of the prestigious L'Atelier selection of the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. It is slated to be released in India in October.  "There is a certain buzz about Indian films after Slumdog. Though it was directed by a British filmmaker, the talent was certainly Indian and that is what creating curiosity about our films," the actress said. 

Tannishtha was all praises for the new brigade of filmamkers like Raj Kumar Hirani, Shimit Ameen, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Basu who she believes are telling Indian stories in a renewed fashion.  "Content is what matters in global cinema. Bollywood has it is own distinct style which is being noticed. It is just a matter of time when our storytelling will enthrall audiences beyond Indian diaspora," she said. 

After making her mark in international circuit with 'Brick Lanes', the actress is looking forward to her innings in Bollywood.  Tannishtha, who was last seen in Naseeruddin starrer 'Barah Aana', has two back to back releases in 'Road Movie' and 'Bombay Summer' with New York-based Indian origin actor Samrat Chakrabarti. 

The actress is also shooting for British director Sarah Gavron next film called 'Pole Dancer' co-starring Kal Penn, Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen.


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