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Cannes 2024: Interesting Details To Know About India's Palme d'Or Contender, ‘All We Imagine As Light’

Payal Kapadia's All We Imagine As Light is currently in competition for the Cannes top honour, the Palme d'Or, in 2024.

The Festival de Cannes, popularly known as the Cannes Film Festival, rolled out the red carpet for its 77th edition on May 14. While the gala event is known for its fashion and films, there’s an interesting lineup of films this year, which are set to premiere at the esteemed film festival. However, all eyes are certainly on Payal Kapadia's All We Imagine As Light, which is in competition for the coveted Palme d'Or.

After a long wait of three decades, an Indian movie is all set to play at the top competition slot of Cannes Film Festival, and the same was announced by Iris Knobloch, president of the festival, and Thierry Fremaux, general-delegate. Interestingly, Payal Kapadia is one of the four female directors in competition for the honorary award, and the number was seven last year.

About the film

For those caught unaware, All We Imagine As Light stars Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam, and Hridhu Haroon in pivotal roles. It is backed by Thomas Hakim, Julien Graff, and Ranabir Das, and is set amid the bustling backdrop of Mumbai. The film revolves around the lives of two nurses Prabha and Anu, who are employed at a nursing home. However, Prabha, a nurse from Kerala, is caught off guard when she gets a gift from her estranged husband. At around the same time, Anu, who is her roommate, is looking for some privacy with her boyfriend. However, the two women eventually find their peace during a trip to a beach town, and are able to have their dreams fulfilled.

At Cannes, Shaji N. Karun's Swaham in 1994 was picked to compete at the top Palme d'Or. And around 11 years before that in 1983, Mrinal Sen's Bengali language Kharij was bagged the jury prize as part of the Cannes competition.

Who is Payal Kapadia?

Payal Kapadia is not a new name for the Cannes film festival on the French Riviera. In 2021, her film, A Night of Not Knowing Nothing bagged the Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary and was screened at the Director’s Fortnight, an important Cannes sidebar. Earlier in 2017, her project Afternoon Clouds was part of the Cinefondation section. The event takes place alongside the Critics' Week and Director’s Fortnight.

Now with ‘All We Imagine As Light’, Kapadia (30) is now aiming to get honoured with the coveted Palme d'Or and battle it out with some of the most celebrated names in world cinema: Francis Ford Coppola (Megalopolis), Sean Baker (Anora), Yórgos Lánthimos (Kinds Of Kindness), David Cronenberg (The Shrouds), Andrea Arnold (Bird), Paul Schrader (Oh Canada) Jacques Audiard (Emilia Perez) and Paulo Sorrentino (Parthenope) to name a few.

In the past 77 years, only a few Indian movies have been able to get into Competition. These include Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar (1946), V Shantaram’s Amar Bhoopali (1952), Raj Kapoor's Awaara (1953), Satyajit Ray’s Parash Pathar (1958), MS Sathyu’s Garm Hava (1974) and Mrinal Sen’s Kharij (1983. However, it is only Neecha Nagar from India that has clinched the Palme d'Or.