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UC student takes in Cannes Film Festival

UC student Tanmay Srivastava got a unique point of view on the film industry this year by attending the Cannes Film Festival, an international event held annually in Cannes, France.

Srivastava went to the first week of the two-week festival, which was filled with film premieres, networking, and award ceremonies.

Amid the glitz and glamour of celebrity sightings and red-carpet events, Srivastava said his focus was meeting with other producers and friends from the film industry. That didn’t stop him from a few run-ins with famous folks, including most notably, this year’s winner of the honorary Palme d’Or award, Forest Whitaker.

“I opened the door, and [Whitaker was] right there,” recounted Srivastava. “I shook hands with him, of course, and I gave him my card. Took his hand, had a good conversation for about a minute. [The Cannes Film Festival] is the place where we can meet and talk to these people, because otherwise, they're unreachable.”

For Srivastava, another highlight of the event was his home country, India, being named the official country of honor at the concurrent Marché du Film, the official festival marketplace for networking, conferences, and project previews. 

“That was a big event because we had businessmen, producers, and actors from my country—everyone,” said Srivastava. "I had a lot of meetings at the film market—that kept me busy... Being from India and seeing it have such a big focus was a very proud moment for me.”

Srivastava noted that he spent most of his time at the market meeting with Indian government officials, composers, and other filmmakers. Throughout the week, he was able to connect with new collaborators and represent his country with pride.

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