Namita Lal is on her fourth visit to Cannes, praises actor Taha Shah Badussha

Banker-turned-actor-producer Namita Lal is in Cannes for the Festival de Cannes 2024. This is her fourth trip to the French Riviera, and yet the feeling is the same as the first time. She made her Cannes debut in 2018 just after she finished shooting for her debut movie, Lihaaf.

She said, “I met the Oscar-winning producer Marc Baschet at the Goa Film Bazaar, and we spoke about Lihaaf. He invited me to Cannes, and I came here with the director, Rahat Kazmi. We launched the first look of Lihaaf in the Bharat Pavilion, and Marc Baschet came on board as a creative producer. Subhash Ghai joined us on stage for our poster launch.”

“Being here and witnessing the celebration of cinema on such a vast scale inspired me to pursue my passion for filmmaking and acting. I decided to quit my bank job and take a one-year sabbatical,” she added. 

Her second visit was in 2019 for the first look launch of her film Oxygen, and it was the same year she announced the production of The Country of the Blind, which is now set to release in July. Recently, it was screened at the Saudi Film Festival. For the first three visits, she was there with films, and had no intentions of going in 2024, but Cannes called her back.

“Since I was already going to the Saudi Film Festival, I decided to come here, and I haven’t regretted it. Normally, I go to the Cannes market called Marché du Film (Festival de Cannes). There are a lot of meetings and networking opportunities, but this year I decided to watch more films than I did in the last three visits. I loved it,” she said. 

“I have walked the red carpet many times, seen the competition films and opening films, and plan to see more. I am loving the films selected for Cannes this year. An Indian film by Payal Kapadia has been selected, and I wish her all the best in the competition. It’s a wonderful celebration of cinema from all over the world,” she added.

Namita also spoke about her meeting with actor Taha Shah Badussha, who became the nation’s sweetheart with his performance in Heeramandi. She said, “I had seen him in Heeramandi before I came to Cannes, and what impressed me more about him is his absolute humility. He was mingling with everybody and wanted to be really involved in the whole scenario of filmmaking, meeting people, and networking while being an amazing actor.”

“He was really good in Heeramandi. I loved that he is so easy to talk to; there’s no arrogance about him considering he’s done such a big series as the lead. He is a wonderful person, and I hope he can keep that humility. It will carry him a long way, unlike other celebrities who tend to stay in their own space, separated from the rest,” she added.

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