- The film is not part of the festival’s official selection but will kick off celebrations for India, the country of honor at the 75th edition of the prestigious film festival.
Indian actor R. Madhavan’s directorial debut, “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect,” is headed to Cannes. The film will have its world premiere at the 75th edition of the prestigious film festival on May 19 as part of the celebration of India as the official country of honor at the Cannes Market this year. Deadline reports that “the film is not part of the festival’s official selection, but kicks off a tradition that the market will continue as it designates countries of honor during future editions.”
Cannes notes in a press release that India’s designation as the official country of honor coincides with the 75th year of its independence as well as the festival’s 75th anniversary – “a momentous milestone for both institutions.”
In an Instagram post, Madhavan wrote: “Rocketry world premiere at Cannes. May 19th, 9 pm. Did not imagine this when we began this journey. The only objective was to tell the story of Shri Nambi Narayanan… That desire has brought us a long way with all your blessings and the grace of God. Pls pray for us.”
The biographical drama was shot simultaneously in Hindi, Tamil and English, with the English version showing in Cannes. The theatrical release is set for July 1.
The film traces the life of Narayanan (Madhavan), renowned for developing the Vikas Engine — one of the most efficient, liquid fuel engines in the world. However, the former ISRO scientist and aerospace engineer was ultimately embroiled in a spy scandal.
“I feel very honored and privileged to be attending Cannes for the very first time and yet very nervous deep in my guts,” Madhavan told Deadline. “ But then, I keep reminding myself that all I ever wanted was to really tell a story, a story that possessed me and I just wanted to put it out there.”
Shot in India, France, Canada, Georgia, Serbia and Russia, “Rocketry” stars an ensemble cast including Madhavan, Phyllis Logan (“Downtown Abbey”), Vincent Riotta (“House Of Gucci”) Ron Donachie (“Game Of Thrones”), Simran, Rajit Kapur, Ravi Raghavendra, Misha Ghoshal, Gulshan Grover, Karthik Kumar and Dinesh Prabhakar, with special appearances from Shah Rukh Khan and Suriya.
The film is produced by TriColour Films, Varghese Moolan Pictures and 27th Investments, and is being distributed by UFO Moviez in India, with Red Giants distributing in the south. Yash Raj Films and Phars Film Co have international rights.
Madhavan’s wife Sarita, also took to Instagram to write about the film’s official selection. “We’re so excited, nervous and grateful at the same time,” she wrote. “It started off with a small desire to tell a story which we were all moved by. Did not imagine that it would be such a long crazy journey. It’s just getting better by the day.. god’s grace.”
On the work front, Madhavan, who was last seen in the Netflix web series “Decoupled” with Surveen Chawla, has several Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and English films to his credit. Some of his popular Bollywood films are “3 idiots,” “Rang De Basanti,” “Tanu Weds Manu,” “Guru,” “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein,” and “Zero,” among others.
Meanwhile, the India celebration will kick off on May 18 on the Majestic Beach following an introduction from the Marché du Film’s Executive Directors Jérôme Paillard & Guillaume Esmiol and a welcoming address from Anurag Singh Thakur, the Government of India’s Minister of Information & Broadcasting.
As one of the highlights of India’s status as the Country of Honor, a special screening of a restored Indian classic film, directed by Indian auteur Satyajit Ray, has been planned as part of the Festival’s Cannes Classics selection. In addition, world premieres of a selection of Indian films will be held at the Olympia Cinema.
Like every year, the India Pavilion will return to the festival at the iconic Village International. The India Pavilion, which will be officially inaugurated on May 18, will showcase Indian cinema in all its linguistic, cultural, and regional diversity and will serve as a networking platform for delegates from across the global community. The pavilion aims to establish international partnerships in film shooting, distribution, production, script development, technology and promoting film sales and syndication.