“All We Imagine As Light” Payal Kapadia Makes History, Wins Grand Prix Award At Cannes

NEW DELHI: For the first time in 30 years an Indian film, Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine as Light‘ which centers around the lives of two nurses, was nominated for the Palme d’or, the highest award in the festival. Kapadia’s film won the Grand Prix, the second position in the category.
Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia etched her name in the annals of cinematic history at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival as her directorial debut drama, “All We Imagine as Light The film was a strong contender for the top award, Palme d’Or, at Cannes, which was awarded to Sean Baker’s comedy-drama Anora.
For the first time in 30 years an Indian film, Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine as Light’ which centers around the lives of two nurses, was nominated for the Palme d’or, the highest award in the festival.  With this win Payal Kapadia, a FTII alumnus, becomes the first Indian to bag this prestigious award. This comes after 30 years when Shaji N Karun’s ‘Swaham’ competed for highest honors.
clinched the prestigious Grand Prix award. Kapadia’s film became the first Indian entry in three decades and the first ever by an Indian woman director to secure a spot in the festival’s main competition, let alone win the Grand Prix. Ms Kapadia’s directorial debut received good reviews in the media and scripted history after it became the first Indian film in 30 years and the first ever by an Indian female director to be showcased in the main competition.
An alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Ms Kapadia 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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ms Kapadia for the feat and said, “India is proud of Payal Kapadia for her historic feat of winning the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for her work ‘All We Imagine as Light’.
An alumnus of FTII, her remarkable talent continues to shine on the global stage, giving a glimpse of the rich creativity in India.””This prestigious accolade not only honours her exceptional skills but also inspires a new generation of Indian filmmakers,” he posted on X.
The screening of ‘All We Imagine as Light’ was met with a thunderous eight-minute standing ovation from the audience. Set in a bustling city, the film tells the story of Prabha, a nurse whose life takes an unexpected turn when she receives a mysterious gift from her estranged husband. Accompanied by her roommate Anu, the duo embarks on a journey to a coastal town, where a mystical forest serves as a sanctuary for their dreams.‘All We Imagine as Light’ is an Indo-French co-production, with Petit Chaos from France and Chalk and Cheese Films from India serving as co-producers.
The Grand Prix win marks a remarkable feature film debut for Payal Kapadia, who had previously won the Golden Eye award at Cannes for her documentary ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing.’ The Cannes Film Festival commenced on May 14, with Greta Gerwig serving as the jury president. Other jury members included Lily Gladstone, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Eva Green, Ebru Ceylan, Juan Antonio Bayona, Nadine Labaki, and Omar Sy.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated Ms Kapadia and said, “Indian stars shining bright at the 77th Cannes Film Festival! Congratulations to Payal Kapadia and the entire team of ‘All We Imagine As Light’ for clinching the prestigious Grand Prix award.” “Kudos to Anasuya Sengupta for winning the Best Actress award under the Un Certain Regard section for her performance in ‘The Shameless’,” Mr Gandhi.
She received praise from the film fraternity in India.
Actor Mohanlal called it “A momentous occasion for Indian Cinema as Payal Kapadia, Kani Kusruthi, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam, and the talented team behind “All We Imagine as Light” bask in glory!” “Immense love and gratitude to Anasuya Sengupta and the illustrious Santosh Sivan for their remarkable,” he added. Actor Mammootty said, “Making Indian Cinema Proud. What an amazing achievement. Congrats to Payal Kapadia, Kani Kusruthi, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam and the entire team of All We Imagine as Light.”
Film director, lyricist and writer Varun Grover said, “Unbelievable day for Indian cinema. An independent filmmaker – from much hated FTII – whose first film was a poetic love letter to the idea of dissent in a democracy, wins the second highest honors at the biggest film festival in the world.”
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).

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