A metaphorical fable in Mani Kaul-Kumar Sahani school of filmmaking mould

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By S Viswanath

Jun 18, 2024

Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know, the course-end short film by Dr Chidananda S Naik, (FTII), bagged the Cannes’ La Cinef Award for Best Short at 77th Cannes Film Festival, France.

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The first-of-its-kind feat brought laurels to the premier alma mater and the nation, as a whole, which feted the team and its success wholesomely.

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This achievement comes after four years when another FTII student film CATDOG won an award at the 73rd Cannes.

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Credit : IMDB

Picked alongside 17 others, out of the 2,623 submissions, the short fetched a grant of €15,000 as first prize money for the talented 29-year-old Mysuru doctor-turned-filmmaker.

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Its cinematic core is a thought-provoking and subtly allegorical short with its impeccable framing, shot scenarios, mise-en-scène and virtuoso play of light and shade.

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Based on the popular Banjara folklore of Karnataka from which community Chidananda Naik belongs and grew up, the short engages the audience in an enigmatic tour de force.

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Chidananda S Naik, who is currently working on a Kannada feature film has a body of shorts Whispers & Echoes (2021), Longing (Trishna; 2022), and more under his repertoire.

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Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know turns out an ensemble piece of cinematic work that found due recognition and reward at the prestigious Cannes.

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