Bollywood indie films to be shown at Cannes Festival

Poster for Gangs of Wasseypur
Image caption There will be five Bollywood films screened at Cannes this year

The Cannes Film Festival will show-case five Bollywood films, including three from indie filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

Kashyap's Peddlers will be shown at the Critics' Week and compete for the prestigious Camera d'Or while his two-part Gangs of Wasseypur will be shown at the Director's Fortnight.

Other films at the festival are Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely and the 1948 classic Kalpana by dancer Uday Shankar.

Many Bollywood stars will also attend Cannes, which begins on Wednesday.

The two Gangs of Wasseypur films are over five hours' long and tell the story of three generations of a family in the coal mining region of Dhanbad in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

This commercial Hindi film is a "gangster drama" which deals with corruption and coal mafia but does not have the usual song-and-dance glamour scenes of the normal Bollywood fare.

Peddlers, produced by Kashyap, is Vasan Bala's directorial debut. Bala had earlier assisted Kashyap on his film Dev D.

Miss Lovely, which is about people making a living from Mumbai's struggling soft-porn film industry, will be screened as part of the Un Certain Regard section of the festival.

Several Bollywood stars, including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, are expected to walk the red carpet at Cannes this year.

Rai-Bachchan, a former Miss World who is no stranger to the festival having made 10 appearances over the past years, is at the centre of a lot of debate in India over her weight after the birth of her daughter last November.

The Cannes Festival runs from from 16-27 May.

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