Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Nowadays Cannes is more known for the red carpet appearances.
  • Primarily it is a film festival that screens some extraordinary global movies on its platform.

Cannes 2024 is currently underway and everyday pictures of beauties representing India at the French Rivera are keeping the social media users entertained. From Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Urvashi Rautela to Kiara Advani and Hina Khan many Indian actresses and celebs graced the red carpet at Cannes 2024 and attracted attention.

Although nowadays Cannes is more known for the red carpet appearances it is a film festival that has been screening some extraordinary global movies on its platform for many years now. One such Indian movie that was discussed a lot during the Cannes Film Festival in 1976 was Nishant directed by Shyam Benegal. The movie starred Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi in important roles.

Even though currently Shyam Benegal’s movie Manthan is grabbing the headlines as it is being screened at Cannes this year, it was his second movie Nishant that was nominated for Palme d’Or - the most coveted award of the Film Festival.

Nishant was the launching pad for Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah who later on became the mainstay of parallel cinema. The movie had some remarkable actors like Girish Karnad, Anant Nag, Amrish Puri, and Mohan Agashe who went on to lead the parallel cinema in the later years.

Throwback Picture of Smita and Shabana Together

While Shabana Azmi now speaks highly about Smita Patil in those days the two were considered rivals. So when a black and white picture of the two actresses in sarees flanked with Shyam Benegal standing in between with a heavy briefcase in hand went viral recently, it was sort of nostalgic for veteran Bollywood movie watchers.

As was the norm in those days, the mothers of both the actresses had accompanied them to the Film Festival. Vidyatai Patil and Shaukat Azmi went along with Smita and Shabana respectively at the Cannes. A couple of years ago Shabanaji shared the same picture and shared the story behind it.

In her Instagram post, the legendary actress wrote, “At Cannes for Nishant 1976. We had no publicity material and no money so Shyam Benegal asked Smita Patil and me to wear our best saris and walk up and down the promenade to attract attention. And when people turned around to stare at these strange-looking exotic creatures we would persuasively plead “Our film is showing on so and so date pls come to watch it “and we managed a full house! That was the advertising acumen of Shyam Benegal”

Nishant was a movie that focussed on the sexual exploitation of women in village areas during the Nizam rule in Telangana from around 1930 to 1940. Apart from winning the National Award for Best Hindi Feature Film, it was also showcased at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and London Film Festival, and also received Golden Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.

OTV News is now on Whatsapp

Join and get latest news update delivered to you via whatsapp

Join Now