Payal Kapadia: India celebrates historic win at Cannes Film Festival


Filmmaker Payal Kapadia made history on Saturday by becoming the first Indian personality to win the prestigious Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, the second highest prize after the Palme d’Or.

Kapadia’s film ‘All We Imagine As Light’ is a drama centered around two Malaysian nurses who move to a beautifully filmed Mumbai and navigate life, love and sisterhood.

It is the first Indian film in three decades to compete in the main Cannes competition.

“It was already a dream to be selected in competition and it was beyond my imagination,” Kapadia said in his acceptance speech, turning to the Cannes jury, which this year includes director Greta Gerwig and actress Lily Gladstone.

“Please don’t wait another 30 years to have an Indian film,” she told the audience.

The victory reverberated across the country, with many people on social media, including senior politicians, emphasizing its importance.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on X that the country was “proud” of Kapadia’s “historic feat.”

“His remarkable talent continues to shine on the global stage, providing insight into India’s rich creativity. This prestigious accolade not only honors his exceptional skills but also inspires a new generation of Indian filmmakers.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of India’s main opposition political party, the Indian National Congress, also congratulated the director, as well as Anasuya Sengupta, the first Indian actress to win the best actress award for her role in “The Shameless.” , as part of the Un Certain Regard festival. section.

“Indian stars shining brightly… These women have written history and inspired the entire Indian film fraternity,” he wrote on the platform.

Stéphane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images

Kani Kusruti, Chhaya Kadam, Payal Kapadia and Divya Prabha pose with the Grand Prize for ‘All We Imagine As Light’ at the festival’s closing ceremony.

Sooni Taraporevala, the screenwriter of “Salaam Bombay!” who won the festival’s Caméra d’Or in 1988, told CNN that Kapadia’s “unprecedented” victory “personally touched women and actors in independent cinema.”

“It has allowed us to dream, hope and celebrate with unwavering pride and joy,” she said, adding that India’s independent film scene can feel “desperate” in an industry “dominated ” by mainstream productions.

“All We Imagine As Light” received an eight-minute standing ovation when it premiered during the festival.

Some have highlighted the film’s depiction of the romance between main character Prabha (Kani Kusruti) and her Muslim boyfriend (Hridhu Haroon) as particularly bold, given that the country is increasingly polarized along religious lines.

India is the world’s largest film-producing country, but still lags behind Hollywood when it comes to making films that achieve international recognition and win major awards.

Last year, the Telegu-language historical fantasy film “RRR” became the country’s first feature film to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song ‘Naatu Naatu’ was praised for its catchy beat and vibrant dance moves.

“The Elephant Whisperers,” directed by Indian filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves, also won best documentary short at the ceremony.

In 1947, filmmaker Chetan Anand won the top prize at Cannes for his film “Neecha Nagar”, becoming the only Indian to win this distinction.

Kapadia previously won the festival’s Golden Eye in 2021 for her acclaimed documentary “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” about how a film student in India attempts to pursue a relationship with her ex, despite the fact that she belongs to a different caste.

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News Source : amp.cnn.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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