Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Pictured: Indian director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (R) pose for photographers with Indian actress Aishwarya Rai (C) and Indian actor Sharukh Khan (L) during a photocall for his film "Devdas" in Cannes May 23, 2002. Director Bhansali presents his film entry which is screened out of competition in the 55th Cannes film festival which continues on the French Riviera.Reuters

As the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2016 is set to begin on Wednesday, which continues through May 22, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan spills the beans on her storied association with it. It is her 15th year at the festival this time; the first visit was when "Devdas" was screened (2002).

Inspired by celebrated Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhay's novel of the same name, "Devdas" starred Shah Rukh Khan (playing the titular role), Aishwarya as Paro and Madhuri Dixit Nene as Chandramukhi.

Aishwarya, who called the experience "truly memorable and exceedingly special," added that it was not only her who was there; the entire team of "Devdas" was being represented. It was unexpected, which was why the reception was overwhelming, she told IANS.

She continued that it was a night screening, and how the film was applauded for at least 10 minutes or may be more. "If I remember correctly, we got at least ten minutes of applause continuously after that... it meant the world to us ... it was by far the most touching and overwhelming experience for us because like I said, it was quite the unexpected and immensely pleasurable," she elaborated.

What was fascinating for the actress was a little carriage ride, which made the three (SRK, Aishwarya and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali) feel special. "It just felt glorious from the first step on the red carpet," the news agency quoted Aishwarya as saying.

In other news, the former beauty queen will be next seen in Omung Kumar's "Sarbjit," which opens in theatres on May 20. The biopic features Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadha in key roles.

Check photos from SRK and Aishwarya's fancy reception at Cannes Film Festival, roughly 15 years ago:

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