South Asian countries including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal are ready to compete for the docs-in-progress grand prize and other awards at the 2021 edition of Cannes Docs. As per Variety, documentaries from these countries will be competing for the USD 11,866 grand prize and other major accolades at the 2021 Cannes Docs edition. Short filmmaker Hezbullah Sultani from Bangladesh will compete among others with his debut feature documentary titled ‘Birds Street’. The feature will explore Kabul’s showcase for avian life, a corner of the city tucked away behind a mosque untouched by war or modernization. Taapsee Pannu’s Thappad Wins Cannes Lions Silver For ‘Most Reported Trailer Campaign’.
As per Variety, the film is produced and co-edited by Sahraa Karimi, whose feature directorial debut ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ nodded at Venice in 2019, played at Busan and was Afghanistan’s entry for the Oscars. Another entry from Bangladesh is ‘Munni’ that follows the life of a child bride who went on to become an inspirational soccer coach and protector at an all-girl sports academy. ‘Munni’ is helmed by Tahrima Khan Tonni, whose ‘Color of Water’ was funded by the British Council, and she was awarded as an International Climate Champion. Spike Lee Graces the Cannes Film Festival 2021 Poster (See Pic).
It is produced by Abu Shahed Emon, whose feature directorial debut ‘Jalal’s Story’ was Bangladesh’s entry to the 2016 Oscars and his production ‘Sincerely Yours, Dhaka’ was the country’s submission to the 2019 Oscars, reported Variety. ‘Thirteen Destinations of a Traveller’ by debutant Partha Das is also among the documentaries that will be competing at Cannes Docs. The film explores two parallel journeys- one sees thousands of Sufi pilgrims march together over days and miles to proclaim unrequited love for humanity, and in the other a disabled, marginal Muslim man in India tries to transform his life fighting against physical, economic and social challenges in search of love, compassion and happiness.
The project’s two producers are- Mokhalesur Rahman Talukdar from Bangladesh and Soumya Mukhopadhyay from India. Subina Shrestha who is a journalist and a filmmaker (Nepal) will be entering into the competition with her film ‘Devi’, a Nepal-U.K.-U.S. co-production that follows a former guerilla fighter who survived war time rape and decides to fight for justice. The project’s producer is Rosie Garthwaite whose Emmy nominated ‘The Workers Cup’ premiered at Sundance in 2017.
According to Variety, the South Asian showcase at Cannes Docs is organized by the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh. Other showcases this year are from Canada, Italy, Chile, Palestine, Paris DOC and Showcase Circle.
Cannes Docs is a part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film. The awards for the same will be announced on July 13, this year.
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