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Shabana Azmi on Shyam Benegal’s plan to gather audience for Nishant at Cannes

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Actor Shabana Azmi took a trip down memory lane as she shared a throwback picture with late actor Smita Patil and film 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 his plan became a hit as they had a full house. (Also Read | Fan tags Hema Malini in Dharmendra’s romantic new pic with Shabana Azmi)

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In the monochrome picture, both Smita Patil and Shabana wore sarees as they posed for the camera. Shyam was seen smiling as he held them. The picture was clicked outdoors on the sidelines of the 1976 Cannes Film Fest.

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Sharing the post, Shabana captioned it, “At Cannes for #Nishant 1976. We had no publicity material and no money so #Shyam Benegal asked #Smita Patil and me to wear our best saris and walk up and down the promenade to attract attention.”

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She also added, “And when people turned around to stare at these strange looking exotic creatures we would persuasively plead ‘Our film is showing on so and so date pls come to watch it’ and we managed a full house! That was the advertising acumen of #Shyam Benegal.”

The picture was clicked outdoors on the sidelines of the 1976 Cannes Film Fest.

Reacting to the post, Richa Chadha commented, “Golden years of cinema. We’re privileged to have you ….love you.” Shabana replied, “Richa (red heart emoji).” Divya Dutta said, “I have this Pic in my collection. So beautiful.” Dia Mirza and Saiyami Kher dropped red heart emojis. Sharing the picture on her Instagram Stories, Shabana wrote, “Smita Patil, Shyam Benegal and Shabana Azmi at Cannes 1976.”

Shabana wrote, "Smita Patil, Shyam Benegal and Shabana Azmi at Cannes 1976."
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 is based on an original screenplay by playwright Vijay Tendulkar. The film features 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 Feature Film in Hindi. 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 pipeline. She will be seen in filmmaker Shekhar Kapur’s What’s Love Got to Do With It. It also features 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.



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