God I do love the Cannes Film Festival. I admit that it’s the glamorous side of the world’s most prestigious film festival, that I find myself being drawn to every time the month of May comes around. The Hollywood glitz and glam, the beauty of the location and the famous faces that walk the red carpet, all add to the magnetism. The shutter bugs go wild and the newspapers are splashed with pictures of the female celebrities who wow in their designer gowns. Of course, there is the most important aspect of the festival which thrusts film producers into the limelight, by having their documentaries and films premiered. Everyone wants to be awarded the Palme d’Or, particularly those who specialise in European cinema. It’s this opportunity that an avid film maker would happily lap up, to showcase the masterpiece he or she has shed blood, sweat and tears on.
Day one brought my personal favourite Leonardo Di Caprio and cast of The Great Gatsby to the red carpet to attend the premiere. It was the perfect way to begin lavish proceedings and as the cast posed for pictures, it truly emphasised how reputable the festival is. Over the past few years, I have followed the festival because of the gradual exposure that Indian cinema (or Bollywood) has received and that is mostly down to the Princess of Cannes, Aishwarya Rai.
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Making her eleventh appearance this year, she continues to have the French media in a frenzy as she graces the red carpet. She has been a member of the Cannes jury and as usual will flash that smile and blow those kisses on the red carpet with effortless charm. It’s the fusion of East and West which is a refreshing change and one which makes Cannes all the more respected as a film festival. This year, popular actress Vidya Balan takes her place on the jury headed by Steven Spielberg, highlighting the recognition of Indian cinema internationally. As Bollywood celebrates its 100 years in cinema, it could not be a more poignant time to celebrate the exuberance it has brought to movie watchers worldwide.
Here’s to weeks of star-studded appearances.