Shabana Azmi on Shyam Benegal’s Plan to Bring Nishant Audiences to Cannes
Actress Shabana Azmi took a trip down memory lane by sharing a throwback photo with the late actor Smita Patil and director Shyam Benegal at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976. Taking to Instagram, Shabana recalled how Shyam asked the two actors to gather an audience for their film Nishant. She also revealed how her plan became a success as they sold out. (Also read | Fan tags Hema Malini in new Dharmendra romance photo with Shabana Azmi)
In the monochrome photo, Smita Patil and Shabana wore sarees while posing for the camera. Shyam was seen smiling as he held them. The photo was clicked outside on the sidelines of the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
Sharing the post, Shabana captioned it: “At Cannes for #Nishant 1976. We had no publicity material or money so #Shyam Benegal asked #Smita Patil and me to wear our best sarees and come up and walk down the boardwalk to get attention.”
She also added, “And when people turned around to look at these strange alien creatures, we would argue convincingly, ‘Our movie is showing on such and such a date, please come and watch it’ and we had a full house! was the publicity sense of #Shyam Benegal.”
Reacting to the post, Richa Chadha commented, “The golden years of cinema. We are privileged to have you…love you.” Shabana replied, “Richa (red heart emoji).” Divya Dutta said, “I have this photo in my collection. So beautiful.” Dia Mirza and Saiyami Kher dropped red heart emojis. Sharing the photo on her Instagram Stories, Shabana wrote, “Smita Patil, Shyam Benegal and Shabana Azmi at Cannes 1976.”
Nishant, released in 1975, is a drama film directed by Shyam Benegal and based on an original screenplay by playwright Vijay Tendulkar. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Amrish Puri, Mohan Agashe, Anant Nag and Sadhu Meher.
The film won the 1977 National Film Award for Best Hindi Feature Film. It was selected for the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, and also invited to the London Film Festival (1976), the Melbourne International Film Festival (1977) and the Chicago International Film Festival (1977) .
Shabana currently has several projects in the works. We will see her in What’s Love Got to Do With It by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. It also includes Lily James, Emma Thompson, Sajal Ali, Shazad Latif, and Rob Brydon, among others. She also has Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, which also stars Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Dharmendra and Jaya Bachchan.