'Cannes Is All About Networking And Cinema': Kannada Actor Iti acharya As She Gets Ready For The Film Festival

Iti acharya, an indian model-turned-actor, gears up for her third time at the Cannes. Amid this,  Live had a conversation with her over email where she recalled fond memories from her past years.

The 77th edition of the Cannes festival will begin on May 14 and end on May 25. It will be held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, home of the festival, on the French Riviera. Global luminaries will be attending this film festival and stun audiences with their red-carpet looks. Several actors and influencers from india will also be seen at the festival every year including- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rahi Chadda, Sobhita Dhulipala, Aditi Rao Hydari, Viraj Ghelani, and many more.

The long list also includes South Film Actor- Iti acharya, who will be marking her third time at the Cannes Film Festival.

Iti acharya is an indian model-turned-actor who mainly appears in South indian cinema. She was noticed by kannada filmmakers during her modelling career after which there was no turning back. After being part of films like 'Deal Raja', 'Guest House', and 'Pora', I was also seen in tamil and malayalam films such as 'Kerela Todayand 'Seema bodha Agatha'. 

As she gears up for the Cannes Film festival,  Live had a conversation with her over email where she talked about her expectations from the event and also recalled fond memories from her past years at Cannes.

Here Are Some Excerpts From The Interview:

How does it feel to represent South indian cinema on such a prestigious global platform?

It’s always wonderful to represent my country, industry, and culture at such a prestigious global platform. This year will be my third year in a row attending the Cannes Film Festival and I’m super excited to be there! The stress, the butterflies, and the nervousness are still there just like every year. I’m so grateful that I keep getting this opportunity year after year and I hope to get it in the future too. I would like to be at the Cannes Film festival not only as someone who represents South indian cinema but also as someone who represents fashion in India. 

You'll be going to Cannes for the 3rd time this year, what new things are you looking forward to? 

Cannes is all about networking and cinema. Each year that I have attended the festival, I have met people who have helped me evolve in my career. For this year, I have the same expectations- meeting new people will be an essential part of my journey who will help me enhance my growth, vision, and plan. To me, Cannes is all about meeting new people, having new experiences, and having fun!

What are you most excited about experiencing or exploring while attending Cannes this year?

I am excited about the movies that come to Cannes, especially this year, as we have an indian film nominated for the main event. Indian women are just ruling globally and I’m so proud of every one of them. The indian cinema has already received an oscar last year and now I am vouching for Payal Kapadia’s film to win. I’m going to be there for a week so the whole event, brands, designers, carpets- all of it is just so fascinating. Super excited to meet the actors, directors, and producers and make connections. 

Do you believe that participation in Cannes influences one’s career trajectory? How has it helped you?

Yes, I believe participation in Cannes influences one’s career trajectory. For actors, it completely opens up your path to so many opportunities to work with national and international directors and producers. We get to meet people from all over the world and from different industries. The influence also depends on how well you plan your time at Cannes, how good are your networking skills, what parties you attend, and how you carry yourself. Cannes has helped me grow in my career and I am glad that I have been attending the event for the last 2 years. It is a very beneficial event if you plan your days there wisely. 

As an actor, it’s very essential to understand the production houses participating from across the globe. The festival opens up so many opportunities for you to work with brands and films. An actor gets to learn how to keep growing in the industry as the growth should never stop; you have to grow with the generations and also learn new things every day. Cannes is a wonderful place to get first-hand experience about what is going on in the industry, what types of roles are liked by people, what kinds of movies are coming up, etc. 

Can you share any anecdotes or behind-the-scenes stories from your previous Cannes journeys that you'd like to highlight?

One of the standout moments from last year's Cannes Film festival was when I unexpectedly found myself walking alongside Jennifer Lawrence. Completely absorbed in the red carpet experience, I didn't even realize who she was until she stopped to change her footwear, making a bold statement against the unspoken dress code of heels. As she rushed back, drawing attention from the crowd, our paths intersected, and it dawned on me that I was in the presence of a major star. This incident was captured and widely shared on the festival's official channels, encapsulating the magic of Cannes, where you can go from being a regional actress to sharing the spotlight with hollywood royalties in an instant minute.

Another unforgettable moment was my interview with Doordarshan, alongside Munmun Bhattacharya, discussing my journey, film, and participation at Cannes. As Indians, Doordarshan holds a special place in our hearts, symbolizing our deep cultural connection. The excitement among my family upon hearing about the interview was palpable, and personally, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

What is your agenda for the 77th festival De Cannes?

My main goal at Cannes this year is to promote the films I've been involved in and to announce my upcoming projects. While we had hoped for a screening, I'm still eager to unveil my new project at the indian Pavilion potentially. Networking is crucial for me; I have several production projects in the pipeline and am seeking co-producers. Understanding the evolving international market, especially regarding AI's role, is essential. I aim to learn how AI is integrated into the film industry, its benefits, and challenges. 

Connecting with colleagues from hollywood to glean insights on navigating industry changes post-pandemic is also a priority. Staying updated and inspired by international trends is key to ensuring our industry remains competitive. I see myself as a visionary, striving to elevate our industry to global standards and bringing back valuable knowledge to contribute to its growth.

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