May 25, 2023
Aishwarya Rai. Deepika Padukone. Simone Ashley. Sharmila Tagore. Mira Nair. Shekhar Kapur. All have attended Cannes — among the “Big Five” international film festivals. It’s not only revered, but also extremely exclusive: guests must be invited, usually by brands or the festival itself.
Cannes’s exclusive nature is especially ironic considering its origins: the French, Americans, and British had had enough of the fascist Italians and Germans awarding only their war-mongering films. Furious, the future World War II allies created their own film festival in 1939 with their own awards. A Palme D’Or from Cannes is akin to being anointed forevermore as a film legend, though these crownings are rare for South Asian films. Perhaps, one day, South Asia, too, will get tired of the hijinks of Venice, Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto (none of the “Big Five” are in the East) and create its own festival. But until then, global Indians are expanding their footprint. This year saw not only actors such as Aishwarya Rai, Urvashi Rautela, and Manushi Chhillar, but also content creators such as Dolly Singh and Ruhee Dosani. This was also Diipa Büller-Khosla’s sixth year at the festival, and she knew she wanted to do something different. So she got her beauty brand red carpet accreditation and invited fellow Indian women to walk the Cannes red carpet with her, making it the first South Asian beauty brand to do so.