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Allu Sirish: Itís sad to see no participation from the South Indian film frat at Cannes 

The Times of India , May 17, 2018

Bollywood beauties like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut have been making their presence felt at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. And joining the gang of Indian actors at Cannes was none other than mana Tollywood star Allu Sirish, who returned to the city this Monday. Sharing his experience, the actor says, ďI was invited by FICCI to participate in panel discussion on Ďregional cinemaí, where we exchanged ideas about how we can make Indian content that will appeal to the global audience. For me, it was simply a learning experience and meeting a lot of talented filmmakers and actors.Ē

However, Sirish dismisses the myth that Cannes is all about glamour and fashion and says that once you get past the red carpet, thereís some serious cinema discussion that takes place. ďI think the red carpet, glamour and parties overshadow the importance of the festival. Everyone is under impression that Cannes is all about wearing designer outfits and flaunting them on the red carpet. But thatís not what itís all about.

Even though I walked the red carpet, I was more interested in the movies out there. I watched films from all over the world, including a Chinese film Ash is The Purest White and Sharad Kelkarís Marathi film Idak. I was keen on watching Nandita Dasís Manto, but had to give it a miss as I had to catch the flight back,Ē he says and adds, ďI realised how big the world of entertainment is, beyond Tollywood and Bollywood. Most of us arenít aware of the regional industries ó a lot of films from the North East and Marathi industry too showcased their films at the festival. I also got to know that some films are made and sold at the festival and some filmmakers come here especially to sell the remake rights of their film. People here just meet and discuss work and collaborate with one another. Itís just awesome!Ē

Given that the Oka Kshanam star was the only one presence from the Telugu film industry at the festival, he called for a wider participation from the south at Cannes. ďI realised that Tollywood is considered a giant industry out there and people look up to Telugu cinema. We have a huge market abroad and people watch our films. So, when nobody from South or Tollywood goes there to represent our industry, itís sad. Even the I&B Ministry was complaining about how artists/actors from South donít visit Cannes. I would want to call out to all those listening to please go and make our presence felt out there. Being my first ever Cannes visit, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I wish to visit next year again,Ē he signs off.