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Bollywood Directors Plan Portmanteau Pic for Cannes

Four Indian directors are putting together a portmanteau pic to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema to unspool at Cannes.

At a presser in Mumbai on Monday, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Bannerjee, Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap unveiled their Hindi-language “Bombay Talkies” from Flying Unicorn Entertainment and Viacom18.

Each segment will be 25 minutes long and center on a topic that is close to the helmer’s heart. The underlying thread is a passion for Indian cinema, Johar said. Budget for each pic was 15 million rupees ($275,133).

Akhtar’s (“Zindagi na milegi do baara”)  segment stars Katrina Kaif and two child actors. It centers around a boy who wants to dance like Kaif.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui toplines Bannerjee’s (“Khosla ka ghosla”) piece, which deals with how a brush with cinema affects a civilian. Johar’s  (“My Name Is Khan”) starring Rani Mukherji, Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem, tackles music in movies, while Amitabh Bachchan’s home stars in Kashyap’s (“Gangs of Wasseypur”) segment, which celebrates India’s craze for Bollywood.

“The amazing thing is that ‘Bombay Talkies’ celebrates continuity and change in Indian cinema at the same time,” Bannerjee said. “We are at  the cusp of history — Indian cinema today has genuinely grown up to truly represent the wonderful complexities of 21st century India and break through into the world scene with its own voice. ‘Bombay Talkies’ is a beginning towards that.”

“It’s great to be a part of a film where you are free to tell the story you want and share a platform with three other very unique minds,” Akhtar said. “ ‘Bombay Talkies’ is a film about how four ordinary people are influenced, inspired and moved by Indian cinema. Karan, Anurag and Dibarkar are friends and I am super proud to share a credit with them.”

Pic will be released May 3, 100 years after the first Indian film, “Raja Harischandra” was released.

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