ENTERTAINMENT

At the Cannes film festival, Prateik Babbar, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Naseeruddin Shah shine

The Cannes Film Festival this year is historic for Indian film. Manthan, the masterwork directed by Shyam Benegal, is the only Indian film to be exhibited at the coveted Cannes Classics section of the festival, a distinction bestowed upon it.

At a distinguished event on Friday night hosted at Salle Bunuel, “Manthan” was shown. Prominent figures from Indian cinema and the history of the film attended the occasion. The late, great actor Naseeruddin Shah, his wife, the celebrated actress Ratna Pathak Shah, and Prateik Babbar, the actor son of the late, great actress Smita Patil, were present. Nirmala Kurien, the daughter of Dr. Verghese Kurien, the pioneer of the milk cooperative movement that served as the inspiration for the movie, was also there. The guests enthusiastically represented India on this international stage by presenting the country’s cultural history while donning colorful ethnic attire.

Stars from the film and television industries gathered on the red carpet. Naseeruddin Shah embodied the combination of art and industry that ‘Manthan’ represents by walking beside Prateik Babbar and Amul MD Jayen Mehta, among others. As they stood for the cameras, the enthusiasm and camaraderie were evident, perfectly encapsulating the film’s path from grassroots support to worldwide praise.

The 1976 film “Manthan” is based on the milk cooperative movement spearheaded by Dr. Kurien, who is often regarded as India’s “Father of the White Revolution.” The distinctive fundraising mechanism of “Manthan” is what makes it stand out; 5 lakh farmers contributed Rs 2 apiece to the crowdfunder. The film’s close ties to the individuals it depicts are reflected in this grassroots financing.

Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Smita Patil, and Amrish Puri are among the ensemble cast members in the movie; their outstanding performances brought the characters and their hardships to life. The story explores themes of socioeconomic change, communal spirit, and empowerment, making it a timeless work that appeals to all age groups.

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