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Historic Cannes Win for Payal Kapadia Shadowed by Legal Drama

Monday, May 27, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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With alumna Payal Kapadia winning the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Pune's Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is beaming. With her win, Kapadia becomes the first Indian director to be awarded this prestigious title.

The school celebrated Kapadia's accomplishments at Cannes on social media site X. As our alumni create history, FTII is proud. We are happy for Payal Kapadia's victory in the Grand Prix," the message said. Other FTII alumni honored at Cannes alongside Kapadia included Santosh Sivan, who took home the Pierre Angénieux Tribute Award, and Chidanand S Naik, who took home the La Cinef.

Success at Cannes for Kapadia follows a tumultuous time at FTII. She spearheaded a student demonstration in 2015 against the politically driven selection of actor-politician Gajendra Chauhan as chairman. Several students, including Kapadia, were arrested by police during the 139-day strike on a variety of accusations including rioting and illegal assembly. The case is still unresolved; June 26 is the next hearing date.

Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty said that the mainstream Indian cinema business frequently ignores such brilliance when he spoke about the accomplishments of Indian filmmakers at Cannes. He brought out the irony of Kapadia's impending court appearance—which sprang from the 2015 protests—in contrast to her widespread praise.

Congratulating Payal Kapadia on her historic achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India is proud of her. Her extraordinary skill never goes out of style and motivates a new wave of Indian filmmakers."

Together with other Indian stars like Chidananda S Naik and Anasuya Sengupta, Kapadia's triumph highlights a historic year for Indian cinema at Cannes.

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