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Shyam Benegal’s Classic Film ‘Manthan’ Is To Shine At 77th Cannes Film Festival

The only Indian film to shine in the Cannes Classic section of the festival in 2024 is ‘Manthan‘. The film stars Smita Paril, Naseeruddin Shah and others.

The 77th edition of the Cannes Festival is to be a great milestone for Indian cinema on a global stage. On Friday, Shyam Benegal’s film ‘Manthan’ is to be screening during a prestigious gala at Bunuel.

The film stars later actor Smita Patil and it is the only Indian film which has been selected under the Cannes Classic section of the festival this year. The has a star cast which includes, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Mohan Agashe, Anant Nag, and Amrish Puri among others.

The film is about the pioneering milk cooperative movement of Dr Verghese Kurien– the father of the White Revolution in India. Ot was produced by 5 lakh dairy farmers of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) whose products are marketed under the Amul brand.

The movie which is Gujarat-set was first crowd-funded entirely by 5000,000 farmers who had donated Rs 2 each. The script of the movie is penned by Kurien and Vijay Tendulkar.

The two National Film Awards was won by the film Manthan in 1977, which are Best Feature Film in Hindi and Best Screenplay for Tendulkar. The film also marked India’s official entry to the 1976 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film Category.

The premier of the film’s restored version is to be premiered and it is ti be attended by Naseeruddin Shah, the family of the late Smita Patil, the producers of the film and Film Heritage Foundation’s Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.

Shyam Benegal regarding the screening at the Cannes said, “I was absolutely delighted when Shivendra told me that Film Heritage Foundation was going to restore “Manthan” in collaboration with the Gujarat Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. Manthan is a film that is very close to my heart as it was funded by 500,000 farmers and was instrumental in the growth of an extraordinary cooperative movement that was aimed at breaking the shackles of economic inequality and caste discrimination whilst empowering the farmers.”

He further added, “It will remind the world of the power of cinema as a vehicle of change and also the legacy of the great Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution. Govind Nihalani and I have been following the progress of the restoration closely and I am amazed by the meticulous approach to the restoration. It is wonderful to see the film come back to life almost like we made it yesterday. Film Heritage Foundation has been doing remarkable work in film restoration. Not only are they beautifully restoring films from every region of India, but bringing them back to the public at festivals and screenings around the world in a way that showcases our unique film heritage to contemporary global audiences.”

The Cannes Film Festival 2024 has opened on May 14 and will continue till May 25.

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