Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and Prateik Babbar shine at Cannes for ‘Manthan’ screening

Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and Prateik Babbar shine at Cannes for ‘Manthan’ screening

Shyam Benegal's ‘Manthan’ becomes the only Indian film in Cannes Classics 2024, celebrating its legacy with a star-studded screening at the prestigious festival.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival is a landmark event for Indian cinema. The prestigious festival has honored Shyam Benegal’s masterpiece, ‘Manthan,’ by selecting it as the only Indian film to be screened in the esteemed Cannes Classics section.

The screening of ‘Manthan’ took place at a prestigious gala held at Salle Bunuel on Friday. The event was graced by the presence of prominent personalities from the film's history and Indian cinema. Among those in attendance were the legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah, his wife and acclaimed actress Ratna Pathak Shah, and Prateik Babbar, the son of the late iconic actress Smita Patil. Also present was Nirmala Kurien, the daughter of Dr. Verghese Kurien, the visionary behind the milk cooperative movement that inspired the film. The attendees, dressed in vibrant ethnic outfits, proudly represented India on this global platform, showcasing the nation’s cultural heritage.

The red carpet witnessed a confluence of cinematic and cooperative industry stalwarts. Naseeruddin Shah walked alongside Prateik Babbar and Amul MD Jayen Mehta, among others, epitomizing the union of art and industry that ‘Manthan’ symbolizes. The camaraderie and excitement were palpable as they posed for the cameras, capturing the spirit of the film’s journey from grassroots support to international acclaim.

Released in 1976, ‘Manthan’ is based on the milk cooperative movement led by Dr. Kurien, who is often referred to as the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ in India. What sets ‘Manthan’ apart is its unique funding model; it was crowdfunded by 5 lakh farmers, each contributing Rs 2. This grassroots funding is a reflection of the film’s deep connection to the people it portrays.

The film features an ensemble cast including Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Smita Patil, and Amrish Puri, with stellar performances that brought the characters and their struggles to life. The narrative delves into themes of empowerment, community spirit, and socio-economic change, making it a timeless piece that resonates across generations.

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