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Cannes 2024 – Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia ‘All We Imagine as Light’ makes top table and Sandhya Suri’s ‘Santosh’ – official selections…

Cannes 2024 – Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia ‘All We Imagine as Light’ makes top table and Sandhya Suri’s ‘Santosh’ – official selections…

Indian film is included in prestigious Competition section, while ‘Santosh’ features in section for up and coming directorsthe news broke earlier this morning in the Official Selections press conference…

BRITISH filmmaker Sandhya Suri’s Hindi language film, ‘Santosh’ has been selected to premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 14-25.

Also making it to the accolade of Official Competition is Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine as Light’. Her previous film, a documentary feature, won The Golden Eye (Oeil D’Or) award at Cannes in 2021. This award is presented to the best documentary across all categories. spoke to Kapadia in Cannes in 2021 – (you can see that interview here – – or see below).

India has not had a film in Competition for some years – and Kapadia will be going up against the cream of the world’s best known and most successful film directors.

Among the directors screening in competition this year are Francis Ford Coppola (‘Megalopolis’), David Cronenberg (‘The Shrouds’), Yórgos Lánthimos (‘Kinds of Kindness’) and Paolo Sorrentino (‘Parthenope’).

Sandhya Suri ©Courtesy of BFI (2018)

The selections were announced earlier this morning in Paris by Thierry Frémaux, effectively the director of the festival but officially known as General Delegate, alongside festival president Iris Knobloch.

In this Suri’s debut narrative feature – it centres around widow, Santosh, who inherits her late husband’s job as a police constable in a rural outpost and is then involved in investigating the rape and murder of a low caste girl – with the case being headed up a strong-willed, feminist police chief called Sharma. The film was shot in and around Lucknow last year. It is described as a noir-thriller and Suri wrote the screenplay and directed.

The film stars Shahana Goswami, who has appeared in many productions, including Mira Nair’s BBC adaptation of ‘A Suitable Boy’. Alongside Goswami, Sanjay Bishnoi is Beniwal.

Suri has been tipped for success – she was UK trade title Screen’s pick of stars for tomorrow last year. And she also won an award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), ‘The Field’, a short narrative film. Suri spoke to Suman Bhuchar, associate editor of about her ‘Around India with a Movie Camera’ in 2018.

Her ‘Santosh’ is reported to have a budget of around £4.5 million, and has UK, French and Indian backing. The British Film Institute (BFI) is also among the backers, which also includes German co-producers. The film already has a distribution deal for France, it has been reported.

Mia Bays, director of the BFI Filmmaking Fund, described ‘Santosh’ as “stunning” in a release about British backed films at Cannes this year.

Kapadia’s film is described as a road trip and involves a nurse and an unexpected gift from her estranged husband – and also, a roommate who is looking for a space to be with her boyfriend. The two women set out to visit a beach town and a mystical forest becomes a space for their dreams to come alive.

Britain’s Andrea Arnold, a Cannes regular, returns with ‘Bird’; written by Arnold, it stars Barry Keoghan (‘Saltburn’) and is about a 12-year-old boy, his single Dad and brother who live in a squat in Kent. It will also feature in Competition.

Among the other filmmakers Kapadia will be competing with include French Jacques Audiard’s ‘Emilia Perez’, Ali Abbasi’s ‘The Apprentice’ – the Iranian-Danish filmmaker’s buzzy drama is about a young Donald Trump, China director Jia Zhang-Ke’s ‘Caught by the Tides’ and iconic Hollywood writer-director Paul Schrader’s ‘Oh Canada’.

Audiard’s ‘Dheepan’ won the Palme d’Or – Cannes’ top prize in 2015. See our interview with Audiard when the drama about two Sri Lankan refugees trying to settle down in France, came to London Film Festival in October and was released in UK cinemas in April 2016.

Welsh Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni’s ‘On Becoming A Guinea Fowl’ makes the Un Certain Regard category.

Two other official sections of the Cannes Film Festival – Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week have yet to be released.

We will be covering the Cannes Film Festival in full for the very first time (all 12 days) and will hope to unveil our specially commissioned 10 year anniversary theme track – and story about our coverage and promo video for 2024 next week…Until then catch our Cannes wrap from 2023 here –

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The full list of Cannes 2024 (77th) selections is here –

Main lead picture: Payal Kapadia speaks to acv’s Brigitte Leloire Kerackian about her award-winning documentary, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture