Mysuru filmmaker bags Cannes La Cinef first prize

The first prize for Naik is India's second in five years. In 2020, Ashmita Guha Neogi, also from FTII, won the award for her film CatDog.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 24, 2024 | 12:27 PMUpdatedMay 24, 2024 | 7:28 PM

Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know bags Cannes La Cinef first prize

In a major triumph for India at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Chidananda S Naik’s Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know… has won the first prize of La Cinef in Cannes.

The Mysuru doctor-turned-filmmaker made the film at the end of his one-year course in the television wing of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India.

“Sunflowers…” is based on a Kannada folk tale about an old woman who steals a rooster. As a result of her action, the son stops rising in the village.

The third prize of the La Cinef competition on Thursday, 23 May, went to India-born Mansi Maheshwari’s animation film Bunnyhood.

Maheshwari, born in Meerut and an ex-student of NIFT Delhi, made the film as a student of the UK’s National Film and Television School.

The second prize was shared by Out of the Widow Through the Wall, directed by Columbia University’s Asya Segalovich, and The Chaos She Left Behind, made by Nikos Kolioukos of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Cannes Film Festival awards a €15,000 grant for the first prize winner, €11,250 for the second prize, and €7,500 for the third prize.

The awarded films will be screened at the Cinema du Pantheon on 3 June and at the MK2 Quai de Seine on 4 June.

The first prize for Naik is India’s second in five years. In 2020, Ashmita Guha Neogi, also from FTII, won the award for her film CatDog.

Also Read: Mysuru filmmaker bows in Cannes with Kannada folk tale

CM congratulates Naik

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday congratulated S Naik on winning the La Cinef Award for Best Short Film at Cannes for ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’.

“Heartiest congratulations @Chidanandasnaik for winning the La Cinef Award for Best Short Film at Cannes for ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’! As a proud Kannadiga, it’s inspiring to see you bring Kannada folklore to the global stage. I am sure it will inspire many more to pursue their passion and achieve great heights,” Siddaramaiah said on X.

(With PTI inputs)