Deepika aside, these 5 Indian celebrities were on Cannes jury
The Cannes Film Festival 2022 commenced with great fanfare on Tuesday (May 17). This year, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone is part of the prestigious jury panel and bedazzled everyone with her presence during the opening ceremony. With this, she became part of an exclusive club of Indian celebrities who have handled the post before. Here are five notable mentions.
For many years, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been the go-to representative Bollywood connection at Cannes. But apart from promoting international brands and her movies, the Bride And Prejudice actor has graced the red carpet with the designation of a jury member as well. Debuting at the event in 2002, Rai Bachchan became the first Indian female actor to be a juror in 2003.
Critically acclaimed actor and director Nandita Das is our next mention. The Fire star was chosen as a jury member at the 58th Cannes Film Festival in 2005. Known for staying away from mainstream Bollywood productions, Das was the second Indian actor (after Bachchan) to get the invite. Years later, her directorial Manto (2018) picked up praises at Cannes, too.
In 2009, Aradhana star Sharmila Tagore made it to the panel of the international jury at the much-coveted stage. At the Cannes, her Bengali film Devi, directed by Satyajit Ray, was nominated for its highest honor Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) in 1962. "And here I was part of the jury judging world cinema four decades later!" the veteran performer exulted while narrating her experience.
Our second filmmaker on the list is Shekhar Kapur. In 1994, his internationally acclaimed film Bandit Queen was presented at the gala. Years down the road, the Elizabeth director was invited for jury duty in 2010. While he called it a "huge opportunity," Kapur had one complaint: "My only problem is I hate dressing up..." He was part of India's contingent this year, too.
At a time when women didn't get three-dimensional leading roles in the mainstream Hindi industry, Vidya Balan was perhaps the lone wolf taking forward the mantle. Rightfully, the star made it to the nine-member jury at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in 2013. She gave company to stalwarts like actor Nicole Kidman, director Ang Lee, actor Christopher Waltz, and filmmaker Steven Spielberg, among others.