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Grand Performance: Payal Kapadia steals the show at Cannes

Indian director, Payal Kapadia is currently in the news because of her film, “All We Imagine As Light” which won the Cannes Grand Prix at the prestigious film festival.

According to Kapadia, there is thorough beauty in cinema and every type of film can and should co-exist peacefully. She credits her win to the wide range of exposure to the various kinds of films she came across during her FTII days in Pune.

The Cannes Grand Prix is the second-highest award after the top prize of Palme d’Or. Kapadia is the first-ever Indian director to win the second-highest honour at the Cannes Film Festival.

The story of Kapadia’s film revolves around two nurses residing in Mumbai. This film is available in Malayalam and Hindi. It is also the first film after 30 years to enter the prestigious category after Shaji N Karun’s 1994 film, ‘Swaham’.

Says Kapadia after her excellent win at Cannes,

I studied at FTII and it was a really important part of my learning of cinema. We watched films from all over the world there, we studied cinema from everywhere. Maybe that’s crept into how I like to make films.

Adding further, she says,

Maybe then that becomes a language that the western audience can be more open to because I think we have our own vocabulary in cinema and it’s very self-contained in India. We understand the gestures in our communities.

Meanwhile, Kapadia feels happy that her film has gained good international traction among critics at the festival. The jury for the award was headed by ‘Barbie’ director, Greta Gerwig.

Kapadia talks about the technicalities of her film ‘All We Imagine As Light’

Addressing a press conference, Kapadia openly discussed the technicalities that she went through while filming ‘All We Imagine As Light’. She also highlighted the flourishing cinema culture in every Indian state, especially Kerala.

Moreover, Kapadia has also directed a documentary named ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’. However, she feels that not every film or documentary must be sent to an international film festival because India has several of its own already.

We have our own festivals. There are a lot of people who go out to watch films. This is just one film amongst thousands of films and it’s good that we can have all kinds of film festivals films, some ‘not festival films.’ Everything should exist together. That’s what wonderful about cinema.

She further thanked her fellow FTII alumni and batchmate, Maisam Ali, who showcased her film ‘In Retreat’ at the Cannes sidebar ACID. Another FTII student, Chidanand S Naik, won the first prize in the La Cinef category for his diploma film, ‘Sunflowers Were The First to Know’.

Says Kapadia about her film school,

It was nice to see that our school has led us to making different kinds of films. I’m really grateful for it.

Kapadia talks about the thriving and growing Malayalam film industry in India

Speaking further, Kapadia stated that Kerala’s Malayalam film industry is seeing rapid growth in current times.

Also, people in the state are willing to watch films made on different topics and are enjoying them as well.

Her film stars several Malayalam stars such as Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam, and Hridu Haroon.

Everything is changing. Even what Bollywood is, it is changing all the time. There is an immense amount of range in the cinema from Kerala. Even arthouse films get distribution there, which doesn’t happen in the rest of the country.

Furthermore, she also mentioned that she had a great time working with her film’s cast and crew.

It’s worth noting that Kapadia is a regular at the Cannes Film Festival.

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