Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light Brings Home The Grand Prix Prize - Here’s Why The Win Is Historic For India
Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light Wins Grand Prix Prize At Cannes 2024 ( Photo Credit – Festival de Cannes / Instagram )

It’s the year of the heartland stories at Cannes, and Indian filmmakers are causing a global stir. After being in contention for the most significant award, Palm d’Or at Cannes 2024, Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light brings home The Grand Prix Prize. Kapadia’s win at the Cannes is Iconic and historic for many reasons. The movie has received worldwide acclaim and praise, with almost all five-star reviews calling it a brilliant triumph. Here’s all you need to know about why this win for All We Imagine As Light is so historic.

The film won the prize, the second most prestigious award at the festival after the Palme d’Or. American director Sean Baker won the highest honor of Palm d’Or for his film Anora. On Thursday night, Kapadia’s film made history as the first Indian film to be screened in the main competition in thirty years. It is the first film ever directed by an Indian woman.

The 1994 film “Swaham,” directed by Shaji N Karun, was the last Indian film to be chosen for the main competition.

The movie was the first Indian film to win the prestigious ‘Le Grand Prix award’ at Cannes in the last 30 years. The win is also iconic for Payal Kapadia, the first Indian female director to win the honor.

American actor Viola Davis presented Kapadia with the Grand Prix. The director expressed her gratitude to the three leading ladies of the movie, Chhaya Kadam, Divya Prabha, and Kani Kusruti. She said that the movie would not have been possible without them. In her now-viral speech, Kapadia urged the festival to pay more attention to Indian storytelling voices.”I was very nervous, so I wrote something down. Thank you to the Cannes Film Festival for having our film here. Please don’t wait 30 years to have another Indian film.

Payal Kapadia continued, “This film is about friendship, about three very different women. Often, women are pitted against each other. This is the way our society is designed, which is unfortunate. But for me, friendship is a significant relationship because it can lead to greater solidarity, inclusivity and empathy”.

Following its premiere, the film received an eight-minute standing ovation and excellent reviews from international critics. It emerged as a serious contender for the grand prize.

All We Imagine As Light Story

In the movie All We Imagine as Light, Prabha, a nurse, gets an unexpected gift from her long-estranged husband. Her younger roommate, Anu, searches the significant city for a quiet place to spend time alone with her boyfriend. The two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town one day, and in the ethereal forest there, they hope their dreams come true.

It’s an emotionally stirring story about going through life with hope and possibilities amidst everything that stands against it. The brilliant and beautifully wrapped performances of the artists, combined with the director’s blunt and graceful eye, peer through an emotional wall that leaves you wondering.

The movie has not yet been released in Indian theaters or available for streaming.

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