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The Chronicles of Bollywood at Cannes

Red carpet drama. Cream of cinema. And an international flurry of celebrities. Welcome to Cannes Film Festival, which turns 61 this year.

Even though Indian movies are yet to spell their magic as actively as one would like, Bollywood stars are more than happy to lend their brand of glamour to the proceedings. It all started with a certain Mrs Rai-Bachchan. Let's face it, the event gained prominence in our media ever since Ash became a regular at Cannes.

With the festival just around the corner, goes into flashback mode. Here's a look at the Bollywood presence in Cannes during the last few years.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Cannes marks a very special place in Aishwarya's life. The love affair started with her visit in 2002 to promote Devdas alongwith director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and co-star Shah Rukh Khan.

The following year she was invited to be part of the festival's prestigious jury, a first for an Indian actress. Unluckily for Ash, she made more news for her tacky wardrobe, designed by Neeta Lulla instead of rubbing shoulders with fellow judges like Meg Ryan and Steven Soderbergh.

Ash was back at Cannes in a sexier, improved super-glam avatar in 2004 as a representative of L'Oreal cosmetics -- a tradition that continues till the soon-to-be-held fest.

In 2005, besides flaunting her style, she also delivered the inaugural speech with Sideways director Alexander Payne. The year 2006 turned out just great as well. Her film, Provoked based on the true life story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, premiered at the festival. 2007 couldn't have been any better for the newly wed Mrs Bachchan, as the stunner made her first post-marriage appearance at the Cannes red carpet sporting hubby Abhishek in arm.

Unlike her demure outings at filmi dos in Mumbai, the Jodhaa Akbar beauty has, over the years, religiously opted for sizzling designer fare by Gucci, Armani and Roberto Cavalli.

Text: Sukanya Verma | Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Also Read: Cannes Film Festival 2005


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