- The much-awaited screenings of Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull met with a sharply mixed response, in keeping with the pre-mature news leaks about the film not being "all that"! The Croisette was absolutely packed, as fans and movie-goers amassed to check out the world premiere of the fourth installment of the Steven Spielberg franchise. Despite luke-warm reviews, the box-office is sure to swell given the excitement enveloping Indie!
- Reliance ADAG announced non-exclusive deals with Nicolas Cage's Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey's JCB 23, George Clooney's Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and Jay Roach's Everyman Pictures. Reliance will provide development funds to these production vehicles. The deals were brokered by Emmanuel Nunez of Creative Artists Agency.
- An informal cocktails hosted by Jaman (the online movies platform) at The Majestic saw a fair turnout from the Indian contingent, including filmmakers Sunil Doshi, Abhishek Kapoor, Deepa Sahi, Sudhir Mishra, Ketan Mehta, and festival curator, Uma Da Cunha.
- It was announced that Laurence Fishburne will direct, star and produce in a $60-million plus adaptation of Paulo Coelho's bestseller The Alchemist for the Weinstein Company.
- Reportedly, the Indian Government is close to agreeing preliminary terms on a co-production treaty with China. Last week, the UK and Indian governments completed negotiations to enable the UK-India film co-production agreement to come into force. Escorted by his wife, Uday Kumar Varma, Additional Secretary - Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, was busy visiting the stands of the key Indian players to seek their feedback on the market and discuss the possibility of the Indian government adding value.
- It was possibly Anil Kapoor's maiden trip to the Cannes marketplace - impeccably turned out and escorted by a senior distribution executive, he walked around the mandi (as it is called by the desis) checking out the stands doing business, which included those of Eros and Indian Films-Studio 18 (who are releasing his next production, Shortkut...Con Is On, later this year)
(Media and international business expert, Tanuj Garg, will do an honorary Cannes 2008 diary for Bollywood Hungama. This will feature periodic updates on the mood and the action on The Croisette over the next fortnight. Tanuj is currently Marketing & Distribution Head for the UK & Europe at Studio 18)