Namita Lal will be attending the Cannes Film Festival this year for two of her films, Country of Blinds and Before Life After Death. This is the third time the actor-producer is going to the French Riviera to attend the prestigious gala. Excited about her visit, Namita shares that much like the last two years this time too will also be a learning experience for her.
“I’m going to the Cannes film festival this month and it’s going to be my third trip. I first visited Cannes in 2018. As soon as I entered films, I got invited for my debut venture Lihaaf. I went with Rahat Kazmi and his team of producers and technicians. We also tied up with the Oscar winning producer Mark Baschet, who produced the film Lagaan and Lunchbox. Mark Baschet came on board as a co-producer,” she says
Namita also organised a launch for the poster of Lihaaf, and filmmaker Subhash Ghai graced the occasion. “He said amazing things about Lihaaf. He also said that there should be more directors who make films based on stories such as Lihaaf, which talks about the cultural tradition of India. There was a lot of media coverage including an interview with Biz Asia as I was the producer in one film. After this I got a lot of offers for acting and producing films. I got invited again in 2019. I launched the trailer of Oxygen, my second film, which was shot in Kashmir by Shoib Nikash Shah and is a story on the existing corruption in India. I had an interview with the BBC after the launch of the trailer and everyone loved the trailer. I got invited to the opening to Cannes. Not many people get invited to that. I was totally overwhelmed. The same time I also got invited by a lot of producers to launch their films. I got covered in a magazine. After 2 years I’m going to Cannes with 2 big films to promote them,” she takes us back to her last two visits to the Cannes.
About the two films that she is taking to the festival, Namita begins by saying that both are very different from one another. She also sounds happy that finally things are looking up and they are being able to attend the festival in person.
“This is a wonderful festival that has varied events and red carpets and gives you the opportunity to meet producers from all over the world. My film Country Of Blinds got released on OTT. So I’m really looking forward to going there as a producer of the film, which we shot in Srinagar. The second film is the one we filmed in Singapore titled Before Life After Death. We shot this film amid Covid with the huge support of the Singapore government. The big thing about Cannes this year is that they have started ‘Country Honour’. The first country that has been chosen is India because this is the 75th year of Cannes, while India is also celebrating 75th year of Independence. Deepika Padukone is a part of the Cannes jury for the main selection of films this time. So that’s a big honour too,” she adds.
Being an actor and producer, Namita says that such big events help everyone make connections and get to see some brilliant work.
“It’s a big thing for me that I’m going there as a producer. I’m a part of the producer’s network this time. It is very well respected. Everyone is there to build a network, and talk about their projects. Not only one gets exposed to a lot of things happening in the industry in terms of stories and production, one also gets to know about what’s selling on OTTs, theatres all over the world. It is through this festival that we could manage to take Lihaaf to Brazil and Oxygen to Spain. It’s all happening in a beautiful environment and people are open to having a conversation about films,” she adds.
As a performer, on the other hand, one gets to meet a lot of directors and attend screenings of films, says Namita. “Apart from being a producer, I’m also focusing on my acting journey. Film festivals are amazing places to connect with people. As an actor and producer these are must-attend events and again as I said my journey in films gets more exciting when I do such things. In 3-4 months, I have managed to get into feature films and web series. Hopefully this time there will be more networking and I get to meet people who would like to work with me either as an actor or producer,” she ends