#IndiaToCannes | Nawazuddin Siddiqui: We’re only talking about good cinema here, not box office collections

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Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui says our country doesn’t value talent even after international vetting, and his next movie has no buyers on OTT either.

The ninth time is the charm of Nawazuddin Siddiqui, it seems. After making eight trips to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in previous years, he was invited this year for the first time by the Indian government to represent the country. He walked the red carpet on May 17. What also makes it more special for him is that he will celebrate his birthday on May 19.

“Representing India is always special. Whether it’s my birthday or any other day. I’ve spent five or six of my birthdays in Cannes because they’re around the same time year. I’m not a person who celebrates birthdays as such. It’s like a normal day,” says the 47-year-old.

Her earliest memory of the festival dates back to touring two of her films – Gangs of Wasseypur and Miss Lovely (both 2012). “I had never thought so much that I would go to Cannes one day when I left. It is the mecca of cinema, vahana chaaron taraf ache cinema ki baat hoti hai, box office collection ki baat nahi hoti. Hum jo collection ki baatein kar kar ke cinema dekh rahe hain na aaj kal? Vahaan uski baat nahi hoti,” the actor shares.

Does it feel like most of our good films don’t get enough notice in our country, but a screening or an award at an international film festival gets the buzz?

Siddiqui says that doesn’t even happen then, “Hamare yahaan tab bhi notices nahi karte, even after the films are recognized outside.” Uske baad bhi hamare yahaan uss tarah ki films ko screening nahi milti. I have a No Land’s Man movie. He’s going to the Sydney Film Festival. Can you believe no OTT platform is ready to take on this movie? It’s such a fast and beautiful movie. Cinema mein release karna toh door ki baat hai. I feel so discouraged.

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