Payal Kapadia and cast of 'All We Imagine As Light' shine at Cannes 2024 with historic screening

    Cannes, May 24 (PTI) Filmmaker Payal Kapadia and the cast of "All We Imagine As Light" shone bright at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival as they took to the red carpet ahead of the film's history-making screening here.
    Kapadia's feature directorial debut, which screened on Thursday night and has received glowing reviews in the international press, is the first Indian film in 30 years and first ever by an Indian female director to be screened in the main competition of the prestigious film gala.
    Kapadia and the film's cast members Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam and Hridhu Haroon, were beaming with energy and did a little dance as they posed for the shutterbugs at the Cannes red carpet.
    They were accompanied by cinematographer Ranabir Das, and producers Julien Graff, Zico Maitra, Thomas Hakim.
    The scene inside the Grand Theatre Lumiere, where the film had its premiere, echoed the mood outside as Payal and her team received an overwhelming welcome from the audience members.
    The historic screening culminated with an eight-minute standing ovation for the film.
    At the film gala, “All We Imagine as Light”, also written by Kapadia, competes for Palme d'Or alongside 19 other highly anticipated titles, including films from master directors like Francis Ford Coppola (“Megalopolis”) and Yorgos Lanthimos (“Kinds of Kindness”), Paul Schrader ("Oh, Canada"), David Cronenberg ("The Shrouds") and Andrea Arnold ("Bird").
    The last Indian movie to be selected for the main competition was Shaji N Karun's 1994 movie "Swaham".
    “All We Imagine as Light”, a Malayalam-Hindi feature, is about Prabha, a nurse, who receives an unexpected gift from her long estranged husband that throws her life into disarray. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a private spot in the big city to be alone with her boyfriend.
    One day the two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town where the mystical forest becomes a space for their dreams to manifest, according to the plotline.
    International critics have given the film a thumbs up and praised Kapadia's storytelling prowess.
    In his review, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the film "glorious", highlighting its "freshness and emotional clarity" as well as "enriching humanity and gentleness", while also comparing the movie to Satyajit Ray’s "The Big City" (Mahanagar)and "Days and Nights of the Forest" (Aranyer Din Ratri).
    Praising the movie as "a light for audiences to surrender to, a realist-infused story", Fionnuala Halligan of Screen International said Kapadia's storytelling had all the elements of international giants like Lucrecia Martel or Alice Rohrwacher and Wong Kar-wai.
    Indiewire's Sophie Monks Kaufman hailed the movie as a "sensual triumph". "This casual everyday vignette is brimming with a sensuality (the rain, the clothes, the food, the women) that people don’t tend to notice when caught up in the rhythm of life," she wrote.
     An alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Kapadia is best known for her acclaimed documentary “A Night of Knowing Nothing”, which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight side-bar where it won the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award.
    Her short film "Afternoon Clouds" in Cinefondation, a category dedicated to supporting next generation of talented filmmakers.
    "All We Imagine As Light" is an Indo-French co-production between petit chaos from France and Chalk and Cheese Films from India.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)