However, Sirish dismisses the myth that Cannes is all about glamour and fashion and says that once you get past the red carpet, there’s some serious cinema discussion that takes place. “I think the red carpet, glamour and parties overshadow the importance of the festival. Everyone is under impression that Cannes is all about wearing designer outfits and flaunting them on the red carpet. But that’s not what it’s all about.
Even though I walked the red carpet, I was more interested in the movies out there. I watched films from all over the world, including a Chinese film Ash is The Purest White and Sharad Kelkar’s Marathi film Idak. I was keen on watching Nandita Das’s Manto, but had to give it a miss as I had to catch the flight back,” he says and adds, “I realised how big the world of entertainment is, beyond Tollywood and Bollywood. Most of us aren’t aware of the regional industries — a lot of films from the North East and Marathi industry too showcased their films at the festival. I also got to know that some films are made and sold at the festival and some filmmakers come here especially to sell the remake rights of their film. People here just meet and discuss work and collaborate with one another. It’s just awesome!”
Given that the Oka Kshanam star was the only one presence from the Telugu film industry at the festival, he called for a wider participation from the south at Cannes. “I realised that Tollywood is considered a giant industry out there and people look up to Telugu cinema. We have a huge market abroad and people watch our films. So, when nobody from South or Tollywood goes there to represent our industry, it’s sad. Even the I&B Ministry was complaining about how artists/actors from South don’t visit Cannes. I would want to call out to all those listening to please go and make our presence felt out there. Being my first ever Cannes visit, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I wish to visit next year again,” he signs off.