Payal Kapadia, first Indian to win the Cannes Grand Prix – Mythily Ramachandran interviews (Guest Post, Exclusive)

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At the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival, Indian director Payal Kapadia etched her name for eternity in the annals of cinema history by winning the ‘Grand Prix.’ Kapadia’s debut feature All We Imagine As Light, was singled out among 22 entries. Her contenders included the likes of Andrea Arnold, Francis Ford Coppola, Jia Zhange-Ke, Paolo Sorrentino, Sean Baker, and Ali Abbasi. Kapadia is the first Indian woman filmmaker to win the coveted prize. No other Indian director had ever competed for the honour nor bagged it. Thirty years ago, Malayalam director Shaji N Karun’s Swaham‘ qualified at Cannes for the competition category in 1994.

Kapadia’s magic moment happened when AWIAL received a standing ovation for eight long minutes after its Cannes premiere. This French-Indo production is set in Mumbai and narrates the bonding of three women – Anu, Prabha, and Parvaty-working inside a hospital.

An FTII (Film Institute of India -Pune) graduate, Kapadia is not new to Cannes. Her short film Afternoon Clouds premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. In 2021, her film, A Night of Knowing Nothing, won the ‘Best Documentary’ prize at Cannes and travelled globally winning eighteen prizes.

Mythily Ramachandran spoke to Kapadia about the making of her film and making history at Cannes. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE

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Guest Post

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists publishes guest posts -- reviews, interviews and other articles -- by film journalists who are not AWFJ members, but whose work meets our editorial standards. Guest posts are published in full on THE FEMALE GAZE, a sub blog of You will find a link to the full article at the end of this truncated version.