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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:28 am

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:28 am

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Indian films are gaining popularity internationally.

Indian films are gaining popularity internationally.
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Payal Kapadia’s film All We Imagine as Light won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, making her the first Indian filmmaker to do so. As the 38-year-old proceeded to the stage, she was accompanied by the three main female protagonists of her film, Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, and Chhaya Kadam. The photo of the four posing with the prize has become the iconic image of the 77th edition of the festival for Indians.

Her trilingual debut feature, an Indo-French collaboration about two Malayali nurses and migrants working in ‘Maximum City’ Mumbai, received the second highest honour after the Palme d’Or (which went to American director Sean Baker’s Anora). This is a significant achievement for indie cinema. In 1994, Shaji N. Karun’s Swaham was the last Indian film to compete in the category.

During her award speech, Kapadia expressed her desire for another Indian film to be released sooner rather than later. Kapadia’s film focuses on a friendship between three diverse women, rather than the typical song-and-dance tropes or heroic figures. She values friendship since it fosters solidarity, inclusion, and empathy among individuals. “These are the values we should strive for.” Kapadia’s statement that “it takes a village to make a lm” is another key message.

Kapadia expressed gratitude to her cast and crew and praised the Indian film-making ecosystem, stating, “There are interesting films being made in India, and I am only a product of it.” She supported the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and had a run-in with them in 2015. She enjoys watching international films. She emphasised the substantial presence of the film industry in most states, highlighting the Malayalam film industry’s commitment to quality cinema.

India had a strong presence at Cannes this year, with Anasuya Sengupta winning Best Actress in the Un Certain Regard section for her role in Konstantin Bojanov’s The Shameless, British-Indian film-maker Karan Kandhari’s Sister Midnight winning in the parallel Director’s Fortnight selection, and FTII student Chidananda S. Naik’s short Sunflowers Were The First Ones To Know winning the top prize in the official LaCinef section. Kapadia was making her third Cannes appearance, having previously won the best documentary prize in 2021. Three years after winning the Grand Prix, Kapadia hopes to motivate young independent filmmakers to share their stories and receive the support they deserve.

 

ABHISHEK VERMA


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