Payal Kapadia's 'All We Imagine As Light' 1st Indian film to compete at Cannes in 30 years

Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia's 'All We Imagine As Light' made history on Thursday as the first Indian title in 30 years to secure a spot in the esteemed Competition section of the Cannes Film Festival. It will compete for the coveted top prize, the Palme d'Or.

Iris Knobloch, president of the Cannes Festival, and Thierry Fremaux, General Delegate, announced the official selection line-up for the 2024 edition of the gala at a press conference streamed live from Cannes, France.
The film stars Kani Kusruti, Diyva Phahba and Hridhu Haroon in lead roles.

Besides Kapadia, British-Indian filmmaker Sandhya Suri's "Santosh" will also be showcased at the 77th edition of the film gala. The movie will be screened under the Un Certain Regard section.
Kapadia's "All We Imagine As Light" will be presented under the main segment alongside 19 other highly anticipated titles, including films from master directors Francis Ford Coppola ("Megalopolis") and Yorgos Lanthimos ("Kinds of Kindness").

"Oh Canada" by Paul Schrader, "Bird" by Andrea Arnold, "The Shrouds" by David Cronenberg, and "Anora" by Sean Baker are also part of the main Competition slate.

Kapadia, an alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), is best known for her acclaimed documentary "A Night of Knowing Nothing", which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight side-bar where it won the Oeil d'or (Golden Eye) award.

"All We Imagine As Light", also written by Kapadia, marks her narrative feature debut.
The film is about Prabha, a nurse, who receives an unexpected gift from her long estranged husband that throws her life into disarray. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a private spot in the big city to be alone with her boyfriend.

One day the two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town where the mystical forest becomes a space for their dreams to manifest, according to the plotline.
The last Indian film to compete for the coveted Palme d'Or award was legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen's "Kharij" in 1983. Before that, films like M. S. Sathyu's "Garm Hava" (1974), Satyajit Ray's "Parash Pathar" (1958), Raj Kapoor's "Awaara" (1953), V Shantaram's "Amar Bhoopali" (1952) and Chetan Anand's "Neecha Nagar" (1946) were selected for Cannes Competition segment.

"Neecha Nagar" is the only Indian film ever to win the top honour at Cannes back in 1946. At the time, the award was known as Grand Prix du Festival International du Film.
Suri's "Santosh" will compete alongside 14 other movies in the Un Certain Regard, which runs parallel to the main competition.

The Hindi-language film, a character-driven neo-noir story set in the hinterlands of north India, is a UK-European co-production and stars Shahana Goswami.
Quentin Dupieux's "The Second Act" is the opening film at the 77th edition.
The film gala will run through May 14 to May 25.  
(With PTI inputs)

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