Critically acclaimed Indian film director Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday, Dev D) was conferred the Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) on May 20 in a ceremony during the Cannes Film Festival.


The French government bestows this top cultural honour on individuals who have made significant contributions to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world. Past Indian recipients of the prestigious award include actors Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, singer Lata Mangeshkar, and photographer Raghu Rai.

Kashyap, who showed his two-part epic drama Gangs of Wasseypur last year at both Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival with tremendous success, is being honoured for his efforts in promoting Indian cinema around the globe.

“France has a tradition of supporting artists from all over the world. Bestowing the insignia of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters on Anurag Kashyap is a recognition of his artistic talent and career, and his notable efforts in the promotion of Indian cinema in the world,” stated Francois Richier, the French ambassador to India.

This is a special year for India at Cannes as it’s been chosen as the festival’s guest country to commemorate 100 years since the birth of Indian cinema. And there’s no one better suited right now than Anurag Kashyap to represent Indian cinema on the global stage. Anurag Kashyap is currently one of the most influential and sought out directors in India. The popularity of his controversial films around the world proves that he is at the forefront of new-age Indian cinema.

He’s once again making a big splash at Cannes this year. Kashyap’s film Ugly, was one of the 21 features chosen this year for the festival’s Directors’ Fortnight program. He is also one of the four Indian directors who directed a short film for the anthology Bombay Talkies. And that’s not all – Kashyap’s co-produced Monsoon Shootout and Lunch Box, two additional Cannes film selections.

We are especially excited for Kashyap’s upcoming and perhaps his most ambitious film, Bombay Velvet. The movie is based on historian Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables and is a part of a trilogy that aims to recreate the Bombay of the 50s, 60s and 70s. The movie will star Ranbir Kapoor (who is also co-producing the project) and Anushka Sharma.

Story: Sheetal M. Nanda  |  Photo: Festival De Cannes