Known as one of the top 5 film festivals across the world, the Cannes Film Festival is an annual event that every filmmaker or anyone associated with the industry aspires to attend. This invite-only event is known not just for its premiers, but also for the red-carpet entry made by the jury and the special invitees.
Held every year in May, it is considered an honour to be invited as a Jury to evaluate the various entries at the Cannes Film Festival. For India, it is a matter of pride that almost every year there is one member of the Indian film industry who is invited as a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.
To date, 9 Indians have attended the jury duties at the Cannes Film Festival. Here are the details of these 9 special Indians
- Mrinal Sen
Director and Screenwriter Mrinal Sen was the first Indian to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival as a Jury in 1982. In 1981, his movie Kharij won the Jury’s Prize. Besides this, his three other movies were also screened at the Cannes Film Festival namely Ek Din Pratidin, Khandar and Genesis.
- Mira Nair
Indian-American film director & producer Mira Nair was invited to join the Jury duties at the Cannes Film Festival in the year 1990. Her famous movie Salaam Bombay also received the Jury’s Award in the year 1988.
- Arundhati Roy
Roy is a Booker Award-winning author who has written the famous book God of Small Things (1997). Roy attended the Cannes Film Festival’s Jury duties in the year 2000.
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is probably the most invited Indian to the Cannes Film Festival. She made her debut in 2002 along with Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali when her movie Devdas premiered at Cannes Film Festival. The next year, she was invited for Jury duties. Since then Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a regular invitee to this prestigious event.
- Nandita Das
Actress and director Nandita Das was called for Jury duty at the Cannes Film Festival twice, first in 2005 and then again in 2013.
- Sharmila Tagore
Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore’s association with the Film Festival goes back decades. In 1962, her movie Devi which was directed by Satyajit Ray was screened at the festival and had drawn rave reviews. Tagore was invited for the Jury duties in the 2009 edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
- Shekhar Kapur
Director Shekhar Kapur is known for his movies like Elizabeth (1998), The Four Feathers (2002) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). Kapur was invited for Jury duties in 2010.
- Vidya Balan
Balan made her grand red-carpet debut in the year 2013. She also attended Jury duties at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
- Deepika Padukone
In 2022, Deepika Padukone was invited to join the 9-member Jury of the Film Festival that adjudicates the most prestigious prize of them all, the Palme d’Or. There was a gap of nine long years before any Indian was invited for Jury duties at the Cannes Film Festival.
Being invited to walk the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is a matter of pride to anyone associated with the film industry across the world. But to be invited as a jury member is like taking things to the next level!
It is just a matter of time before an Indian is invited as a chairman of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Here is hoping that we see that day soon!
Being invited for Jury duty at the Cannes Film Festival is an honour for anyone associated with the film industry across the world. Here are the 9 Indians who have received this honour till date.