Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman is attending his first Cannes Film Festival, promoting two new projects. The first is Sangamithra, a Tamil-language historical drama in which a princess wants to take revenge, he tells me in the video above.
The prolific artist has done the music for 160 films, working across 25 years. Think Lion, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, I, Million Dollar Arm, OK Jaanu and more. Choosing projects comes down to, “When I find something exciting and it’s worth the while to engage myself, I feel like, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’ Even if it’s new people,” he said.
Rahman is also moving into virtual reality with Le Musk, India’s first VR title, which he says is a scent and sensory experience. It features Mozart In The Jungle and Safe House actress Nora Arnezeder and Guy Burnet of Chicago Fire and The Affair.
Sangamithra is set to begin production later this summer. Jayam Ravi, Arya and Shruti Haasan star in the film that’s directed by Sundar C. Thenandal Studios Limited is releasing that pic locally. In 2015, it distributed the Tamil version of Baahubali: The Beginning, the smash hit that led to this year’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion which has become the biggest Indian release of all time.
Rahman and I also discuss the increased global popularity of Indian cinema. “I strongly believe it’s an alternate,” he says. “People need a change. Even though we get to see amazing things from the West or Europe or China or Iran and everywhere, I think we have a personality and it has to be done with pride.”
Taking in Cannes for the first time, he muses, “Now I know why people want to come. It’s very tempting, it’s very seducing.”
Check out our conversation above.