Rasika Dugal
Rasika Dugal

Watching her film “Manto” on the big screen during its world premiere at the 71st Cannes Film Festival was “special and surreal” for actress Rasika Dugal, who says having her movie at the prestigious event marks a check out off her bucket list.

This was Rasika’s second time at the Cannes. Last year, the team of “Manto” — director Nandita Das and lead actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui — had introduced the movie by sharing its first look. This time, the film premiered. “I could feel that the audience was with the film and the story while we were watching, but I was overwhelmed by the warmth with which the audience came up to us after the screening. People seemed to have genuinely connected with the film and were quite moved. That is all you want from a piece of work you do…that it should shift something in the audience while they are watching and hopefully stay with them. I felt that,” Rasika said.

How is the visibility at the Cannes film festival going to help her career? “It gives me a big check on my bucket list. Closer to the announcement of the Cannes line-up, I was trying to tell myself that even if it doesn’t happen, it’s okay… I was trying to console myself. But I realised it would have been a big setback for me because having a film at the Cannes film fest was clearly on my bucket list, and I was like this is the closest I’ve got to it… If it doesn’t happen now, then it may be difficult to happen. The fact that it made it has given me a lot of encouragement. So, I hope I get to come here many more times. And like Nawaz, I hope I also get to go to Cannes some eight times,” Rasika said with childlike excitement.

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