For the first time in 30 years, an Indian film, Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine as Light’, which focuses on the lives of two nurses, was nominated for the Palme d’Or, the highest award at the festival. Kapadia’s film won second place in the Grand Prix category. With this win, FTII alumnus Payal Kapadia has become the first Indian to receive this prestigious award. The occasion comes after 30 years, when Shaji N Karun’s ‘Swaham’ competed for the top honour. 

Payal’s film was granted official Indo-French co-production status by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, under the audio-visual treaty signed between India and France. The ministry had also given permission for the shooting of the film in Maharashtra (Ratnagiri and Mumbai). The film received interim approval of 30 percent of eligible co-production expenditure under the Government of India’s incentive scheme for official co-production.

Film and Television Institute of India student Chidanand S. Naik won the first prize in the La Cinef section for his 15-minute short film “Sunflowers are the First Ones to Know”, based on a Kannada folklore. This FTII Film is a creation of a one-year program of the TV wing of FTII, where four students from different disciplines i.e. Direction, Electronic Cinematography, Editing, Sound worked together for a project as a year-end coordinated exercise.  Before joining FTII in 2022, Chidananda S Naik was also selected as one of the 75 Creative Minds at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to recognize and support emerging young artists in the field of cinema. It was an initiative of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is also worth mentioning that Bunnyhood, an animated film by Indian-born Mansi Maheshwari, won the third prize at the La Cinef Selection.

The festival celebrated the creations of world renowned director Shyam Benegal. 48 years after its release in India, Benegal’s ‘Manthan’ was screened in the Classic section at Cannes, preserved in the National Film Archives of India (NFDC-NFAI under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) and by the Film Heritage Foundation. Restored.

Cinematographer Santosh Sivan, known for his prolific work in Indian cinema, became the first Asian to be honored with the prestigious Pierre Angénieux Tribute Award at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival for his “career and exceptional quality of work”. Another person who created history at Cannes is Anasuya Sengupta, who became the first Indian to win the Best Actress award in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category for her performance in ‘The Shameless’.

Maisam Ali, another independent filmmaker who made it to Cannes, was also an FTII alumnus. His film “In Retreat” was screened at the ACID Cannes Sidebar program.  This was the first time since its inception in 1993 that an Indian film was screened in the section run by the Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema.

As we witness a historic year for Indian cinema at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has a special reason to celebrate its achievements as, Payal Kapadia, Santosh Sivan, Maisam Ali And the talents of its alumni like Chidananda S Naik are shining at Cannes. FTII is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and functions as a society receiving financial assistance from the Central Government.

The priority of the Central Government is to promote the film sector through various facilities. These include approval of a single facility, joint film production with various countries, supporting education in the field of cinema through its autonomous institutions such as the Film and Television Institute of India and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and making India the world’s leading content destination. Multidimensional efforts are involved to establish it as a hub. All these efforts are creating positive impact on national and international platform.