Bollywood actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan and the likes have promoted Bollywood at the Cannes film festival. These popular actresses appear every year at the red carpet as Brand ambassadors of Lo’real. Several Bollywood movies have been nominated to the Cannes and won praises. This year “Afternoon clouds” is the only official entry to the Cannes film festival.
It’s interesting to note that Bollywood has marked its presence at the renowned film festival since the 1940’s.
First Indian Film festival to win at Cannes Film Festival-
“Neecha Nagar” was the first Indian film to win the Palme d’Or. at Cannes International film festival. This film was inspired by the short story written by Hayatullah Ansari which depicted the sharp contrast in the lives of the rich and the poor. Ironically the film never released in our country but went to win the highest honour at Cannes. It was a movie well appreciated by both the critics and the viewers. Directed by Chetan Anand, Neecha Nagar was the only Palme d’ Or awarded film of Bollywood. It had to compete with many films that year like Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (Italy), David Lean’s Brief Encounter (UK), and Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend (USA).
The film paved way for other Bollywood movies to gather international recognition.
Amar Bhoopali (1951), Pather panchali (1955), Do Bigha Zameen (1954), kharij(1982), Salaam Bombay (1988), Marana simhasanam, (Malayalam) (1999), Fly away Solo (2015) are other movies from Bollywood which received special category awards at the Cannes Film Festival.