After drawing a blank in all official selections of this year’s indefinitely-postponed Cannes Film Festival, India has finally got a space in Cinéfondation Selection, the student film section of the festival, in the form of a directorial venture by Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) student Ashmita Guha Neogi.

Guha Neogi’s ‘Catdog’, and 21-minute film, is among the 17 chosen for the section from among 1,952 works submitted by film schools from around the world, an announcement from the festival says.

Cannes, officially maintaining that it is still exploring “another form” to host the jamboree after the COVID-19 Pandemic forced postponement of the original May-held festival, has announced its official selections earlier and also held an online version of Marché du Film, the biggest film market event in the globe.

The festival this year has not gone for its usual Competition, Un Certain Regard and other official sections, and instead announced sections like ‘The Faithful’, ‘The Newcomers’, ‘The First Features’, etc.

Even if the festival is formally called off at a later date, it is understood that the selections would be allowed to use the “Cannes Official Selection”.

“The Cinéfondation Selection showcases short films produced by film students from around the world, and has been nurturing new generations of filmmakers since 1998, including Emmanuelle Bercot, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Léa Mysius, Kornél Mundruczó, Claire Burger, Cãtãlin Mitulescu, Jessica Hausner, Corneliu Porumboiu, Annie Silverstein, Asif Kapadia, Pippa Bianco, Dani Rosenberg, Alice Furtado, Anna Cazenave Cambet, Etienne Kallos and Nadav Lapid,” the announcement says.

Now in its 23rd edition, this year’s selection committee led by Dimitra Karya chose 13 narrative and four animated films by 11 men and eight women.

The selections are from film schools in Israel, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Hungary, Romania, India, Switzerland, the United States, South Korea, France, Poland, Portugal, Germany and Slovenia.

The screening of the Cinéfondation Selection, which culminates in the jury awarding prizes, will take place next autumn at the Palais des festivals in Cannes. The exact date and the names of the jury members will be announced later.

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About Utpal Borpujari


Utpal Borpujari is a National Film Award winning filmmaker and film critic. He won national award for his debut feature film 'Ishu'.