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"We are open to all genres, all budgets and all types of cinema, except for Bollywood, which we are not interested in at all" declared Frédéric Boyer, the artistic director of the Cannes festival's parallel section, the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Director's Fortnight). This was considered a heretic statement coming from the lips of a cinema enthusiast and intellectual and will be countered by the Cannes Festival's willingness to duly honour Bollywood in its 2011 edition.

Thierry Fremaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival 2011 is passionate about India's 7th art and has invited two of its representatives to dazzle audiences at the festival with a documentary on the history and beauty of Bollywood. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (Rang de Basanti, Delhi 6) and Shekhar Kapur (Mr. India, Elizabeth, Bandit Queen, Masoom, New York I love You), who was recently a part of the festival's jury, are the two known artists who have lent their creative view in conjunction with UTV and American filmaker Jeff Zimbalist to the project titled Bollywood - The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.

Cannes organizers have described the film as a “swirling and poignant montage in which Shekhar Kapoor, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Jeff Zimbalist pay tribute to this cinema genre that has contributed to establishing India’s identity in the eyes of the world and to making Mumbai one of the world capitals of film history.

The documentary will be screened within the official "festival off" or "out of competition" section of the Cannes Film Festival. Generally speaking, despite an increase in recent years of the Indian presence at the prestigious festival, the number of Indian films featured in  the Cannes official and competition sections has always been rare. Shekhar Kapur's uncle, Chetan Anand, had directed one of these rare internationally acclaimed diamonds, Neecha Nagar, winning the coveted festival prize in 1946. Here is hoping that this new documentary will entertain and touch international sensitivity, opening new doors for Indian cinema across the world.

Read Shekhar Kapur's personal note on Bollywood - The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

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