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Ray's 1970 film 'Pratidwandi' to be screened at Cannes festival

Rays 1970 film Pratidwandi to be screened at Cannes festival

Kolkata: Satyajit Ray's 1970 movie, 'Pratidwandi' (The Adversary), which tells the story of an educated middle-class man caught in the turmoil of social unrest, was selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival to be held later this month.

Restored by the National Film Archives recently, it will be shown in the Classics Section of the prestigious film festival, Union Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said.

'Pratidwandi', which was made based on the story of Bengali author Sunil Gangopadhyay, had won three Indian National Film Awards, including the National Film Award for Best Direction, in 1971.

The movie is known for experimenting with techniques such as photo-negative flashbacks. It is also the first film of veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee who essayed the role of Siddhartha, the protagonist.

"Pratiwandi has been restored fully like several other films in the possession of the National Film Archives. It will be screened in the Cannes this year as a tribute to the genius," Chandra told reporters on Monday, the 101st birth anniversary of Ray.

Cannes Film Festival will be held between May 17 and 28.

'Pratidwandi' is the first movie of Ray's Calcutta Trilogy', with the two others being Seemabaddha (Limited Company, 1971) and 'Jana Aranya' (The Middleman, 1975). These films depict the turbulent time in contemporary Kolkata (then Calcutta).

The news could not have come at a better time, Ray's 101st birthday and all the film festivities taking place in the city. The Cannes Film Festival authorities have given a perfect tribute to the flag bearer of Indian films, said Arijit Dutta who, along with his mother, currently owns Purnima Pictures which produced 'Pratidwandi'.

The Kolkata International Film Festival ended on Sunday.

"I am happy that Pratidwandi will be screened at Cannes. It is very good news," Ray's filmmaker son Sandip Ray said.

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