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Marathi film Kshitij: A Horizon to be screened at Cannes

Manouj Kadaamh's film, winner of the UNESCO Gandhi Medal at IFFI 2017, will be screened in the Marché du Film​ section.

Mayur Lookhar

Over the years, Marathi cinema has grown in stature, churning out some memorable films. Court (2015) and Shwaas (2003) even became india’s official entries to the Oscars.

Now, filmmaker Manouj Kadaamh’s Kshitij: A Horizon (2017), which won praise on the festival circuit and the UNESCO Gandhi medal at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) last year, has been chosen to represent Marathi cinema at the 71st Cannes film festival.

Kshitij will be screened in the Marché du Film section at Cannes next month. The festival begins on 9 May.

Expressing happiness, Kadaamh told Cinestaan.com: “I would like to thank the Maharashtra government for selecting Kshitij for Cannes. This is a great opportunity to represent regional cinema on the global stage.

"It’s mostly 'Bollywood' that gets exposure in the European market. I’m hoping Kshitij can help to open a new market for regional films.”

Kshitij review: An inspirational tale in a gloomy environment

This will be a maiden visit to Cannes for Kadaamh. While the director hopes to showcase his film to a wide audience, there is one man whom he most certainly wants to see his film: Academy award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

“I am not sure whether he will be at Cannes this year," said Kadaamh, "but I’m hoping he notices our film. When he won the Oscar a few years ago, in his acceptance speech DiCaprio spoke about the environmental cause.

"Climate change and water shortage are serious concerns in Maharashtra. Our film touches upon drought, farmer suicides. I don't know how we can get him to see it, but a word or tweet of encouragement from him would help the film and the cause it deals with.”

Kshitij tells the story of a child who faces a struggle to get basic education as her father, a poor farmer, is not very supportive. A drought leaves Shripati (Upendra Limaye) worried and the lack of a harvest sees him mortgage his home as he is forced to leave the village.

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Cannes IFFI