India likes to take credit for a lot of things, says Anurag Kashyap on Payal Kapadia’s Cannes win

Anurag Kashyap noted that France funded Payal Kapadia's film, and India has yet to fulfill its promise of providing a rebate.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 13, 2024 | 2:20 PM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 11:55 PM

Team Payal Kapadia at Cannes 2024; Anurag Kashyap. (Supplied)

Anurag Kashyap recently discussed India’s lack of involvement in the successful films at the Cannes Festival. While he was pleased with director Payal Kapadia winning the Grand Prix award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for her drama, All We Imagine as Light (2024), Anurag Kashyap expressed frustration when her victory was portrayed exclusively as a triumph for India.

Anurag Kashyap underscored the irony of this situation, emphasising the difficulties that filmmakers like Kapadia encounter in India.

“India often claims credit for many things but fails to support these films or ensure their theatrical release. Let’s refrain from this false celebration. Even if these films do manage to release, there’s little audience support in theaters.”

Payal Kapadia made history as the first Indian director to win the Grand Prix. Anasuya Sengupta received the Best Actress award in the Un Certain Regard category for The Shameless (2024), while Chidananda S Naik, a student at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), won the Best Short Film Award in the La Cinef section for Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know (2023).

Cannes 2024: All We Imagine As Light—A beacon of hope for Indian cinema

‘Lack of support system’

The filmmaker-actor noted that All We Imagine as Light received funding from a French company and was a collaborative effort between Petit Chaos from France and Chalk and Cheese Films from India, making it an Indo-French co-production.

“I get upset when it’s said ‘India at Cannes’. This is a significant boost for many independent filmmakers, but their success belongs to them alone. This issue needs to be addressed appropriately. India doesn’t support cinema of the kind showcased at Cannes,” said Anurag Kashyap.

Payal Kapadia with the Grand Prix Award

Payal Kapadia with the Grand Prix Award at Cannes. (Supplied)

“More than Cannes itself, it’s about the red carpet. I become more frustrated when I hear people talk about that. Geetanjali Rao received three awards at Cannes for Printed Rainbow in 2003; I wrote an article on it, but it went unrecognised. Very few people here talked about it. There’s a lack of support system here,” Anurag Kashyap rued.

The filmmaker continued to take a dig at Gajendra Chauhan, the former chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

All We Imagine As Light: Everything you want to know about Payal Kapadia’s film

“The irony is that the person who filed the case against her and sent some students to jail is now the one taking credit for Payal Kapadia’s success, proudly stating, ‘I was the FTII chairperson’. You are the same person who initiated legal action against her,” Anurag Kashyap stated.

Anurag Kashyap, on the acting front, is eagerly anticipating the release of Vijay Sethupathi’s  Maharaja (2024), where he plays the villain. Directed by Nithilan Saminathan, known for Kurangu Bommai (2017), Maharaja, which hits the screen on 14 June, marks Vijay Sethupathi’s 50th film.

This isn’t the first collaboration between Anurag and Sethupathi; they previously worked together in Imaikkaa Nodigal (2018), directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu, which also starred Nayanthara in the lead role.

(Edited by S Subhakeerthana)

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