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Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia's 'All That We Imagine As Light' becomes first Indian film to win Grand Prix

Updated on: 25 May,2024 11:34 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Cannes 2024: Payal Kapdia's film 'All That We Imagine As Light' has scripted history and made India proud on the global stage by winning the jury prize

Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia's 'All That We Imagine As Light' becomes first Indian film to win Grand Prix

The team of All That We Imagine As Light

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Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia's 'All That We Imagine As Light' becomes first Indian film to win Grand Prix

In 30 years, Payal Kapadia's 'All That We Imagine As Light' became the first Indian film to be selected for Palme d'Or, the main competition at Cannes 2024 Film Festival. After its screening on Thursday at the French Riviera, it became one of the lead contenders for Palme d'Or. While the film has not bagged the award, it has received the jury prize or the Grand Prix, making it the first Indian film ever to win the title. 'Anora' which was in competition won the Palme d'Or.

Payal Kapadia accepted the award from the jury on the closing night of the prestigious film festival. She also invited on stage her lead cast-Kani Kusruti, Chayya Kadam and Divya Prabha- while accepting the award and thanked them. "It really takes a village," said Kapadia while thanking her team behind the film. 

"This film is about the friendship between three different women and often times women are pitted against each other. This is the way our society is designed and it is really unfortunate. But for me, friendship is an important relationship. It can lead to greater solidarity and inclusivity and empathy towards each other which is why I feel these are the values which we should always strive for," Payal said in her acceptance speech receiving a thunderous applause.

'All We Imagine...' is the first Indian movie in 30 years to qualify for the festival's competition section, which makes Kapadia a contender for the prestigious Palme d'Or. The eight-minute standing ovation at the end of the film's screening was definitely among the longest of this edition of the film festival.

The team of the film including Chhaya Kadam, Hridhu Haroon, Kani Kusruti, Payal Kapadia, Divya Prabha, Ranabir Das, Julien Graff, Zico Maitra, and Thomas Hakim walked the red carpet in stunning outfits. However, it was the team dancing and enjoying their big moment that won hearts.

Kapadia was in competition with "European heavyweights such as Jacques Audiard and Yorgos Lanthimos, American auteurs David Cronenberg and Paul Schrader, and Asian visionary Jia Zhangke", as 'IndieWire' reminds us.

The film did leave international critics impressed after the screening, with Peter Bradshaw of 'The Guardian' showering praise on it for its "freshness and emotional clarity" and comparing Kapadia's "fluent and absorbing" storytelling with Satyajit Ray's in his classics, 'Mahanagar' and 'Aranyer Din Ratri'.

Before the screening, the internationally funded film's star cast adorned the red carpet on the steps of the Palais du Festival, with K

The early reviews to pour in after the screening were glowing. In her review of the 'gorgeous and absorbing film', Sophie Monk-Kaufman of IndieWire wrote: This casual everyday vignette is brimming with a sensuality (the rain, the clothes, the food, the women) that people don't tend to notice when caught up in the rhythm of life. It takes a snapshot from a photographer removed from the situation to make you realise how full these moments are."

In the words of Fionnuala Halligan, "This fiction debut from a talented documentarian brings to mind the work of Lucrecia Martel or Alice Rohrwacher, yet there's a strong romantic streak that also calls to mind Wong Kar-wai's great love affair with the city of Hong Kong."

And Jordan Mintzer of 'The Hollywood Reporter' could resist comparing the languorous film with the cinema the world now expects from India. He commented: 'All We Imagine as Light' is about as far as you can get from the stylistics of Bollywood's masala musicals, even if there is one short and memorable impromptu dance scene toward the end. And yet its story of women looking for love and happiness in a calamitous world brings to mind those popular Mumbai-set movies, in which heroines suffer plenty of heartbreak before things eventually work out."

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