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Cannes 2024: ‘All We Imagine as Light’ wins Grand Prix (second prize) writer-director Payal Kapadia tells us it is recognition for all Indian cinema especially regional…

Cannes 2024: ‘All We Imagine as Light’ wins Grand Prix (second prize) writer-director Payal Kapadia tells us it is recognition for all Indian cinema especially regional…

Cannes 4am (CET)

INDIAN writer-director Payal Kapadia has written herself into history – her film ‘All We Imagine as Light’ which was already the first Indian film to appear in Competition here for 30 years and has now won the Grand Prix.

Effectively the runner-up to ‘Anora‘ by US Sean Baker, ‘All We Imagine as Light’ is a tale that starts with two nurses and a colleague of the one of the two older nurses.

In the beginning of ‘All We Imagine’, it rains almost incessantly, and the noise of Mumbai grates and then it ends in coastal Maharashtra- Konkan (Ratnagiri) where the two nurses Anu (Divya Prabha) and Prabha (Kani Kansruti) go with Parvaty (Chhaya Kadam) to find themselves in a manner of speaking – what happens there is something of a revelation and is the light to which Kapadia refers to in the title itself (we will publish a full review shortly).

Kapadia answered our question about what it meant for the country and its implications for the Indian film industry.

While both the late Satyajit Ray and the veteran Shyam Benegal’s films have screened here for several years, you have to go back to 1946 and Chetan Anand’s ‘Neecha Nagara‘ to find an Indian work among the Cannes Film Festival top prizes for Competition entries.

Kapadia said: “There is amazing work going on in our country, not just in Bollywood, this is absolutely amazing.”

She also spoke about the strength of regional cinema and named checked the industry in Kerala – where two of her leads, Kani Kusruti and Divya Prabha hail and converse in Malayalam for much of the film. The two nurses – Anu and Prabha – live together and Prabha the older woman is longtime friends with Parvaty (Chhaya Kadam) and discovers that the older woman is about to be turfed out of building now controlled by developers.

There is a subplot of her not having papers – a common issue in India for folks often on the margins of society.

This year’s Palme d’Or winner is American director Sean Baker for his film, ‘Anora’.

Other award winners are Prix Du Jury – Emila Perez by French director, Jacques Audiard.

Best Director Miguel Gomes for ‘Grand Tour

Special Award to Mohammad Rasoulof for ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’

Best Male performance Actor – Jesse Plemons for ‘Kinds of Kindness’ by Yorgos Lanthimos

Best Female performance went to an ensemble team of actors led by Karla Sofia Gascon, who along with director Audiard appeared at the conference. She paid tribute to colleagues Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, and Selina Gomez. The film is about a head of a Mexican drugs cartel who decides to transition, kills off his original identity and then persuades his ex wife to live with their aunt and raises the children. (We will carry a review)

Best Screenplay – Coralie Fargeat for ‘The Substance’

The Palme d’Or for a Short Film went to Nebojsa Sluepcevic for ‘The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent‘ while there was a special mention for ‘Bad for a Moment’, directed by Daniel Soares.

On Friday evening (May 234), it was announced that Indian actor Anasuya Sengupta had won the Best Female Performance award for her role in ‘The Shameless’ which is about a sex worker on the run and then befriending a community and falling in love with a younger woman there (Omara Shetty). More to follow on Youtube shortly from this with interviews with Sengupta, Shetty and Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov .

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture