Updated April 12th, 2024 at 18:53 IST

Who Is Payal Kapadia, First Indian Director In 30 Years To Compete For Cannes' Palme d'Or?

Payal Kapadia, an alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), made her debut film Afternoon Cloud in 2017 and it premiered at Cannes that year.

Payal Kapadia | Image:File Photo

Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light scripted history by becoming the first Indian title in over 40 years to feature in the prestigious Competition section of the Cannes Film Festival, where it will vie for the top prize Palme d’Or. Kapadia’s film will be presented under the segment alongside 19 highly anticipated titles, including Kinds of Kindness by Yorgos Lanthimos, Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola, Oh Canada by Paul Scrader, Bird by Andrea Arnold, The Shrouds by David Cronenberg, and Anora by Sean Baker.

Who is Payal Kapadia?

Kapadia, an alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), made her debut film Afternoon Cloud in 2017 and it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The filmmaker was the only Indian to compete at Cannes that year. 


Additionally, her experimental documentary, What is the Summer Saying, debuted internationally at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018. The movie went on to win the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival's Special Jury Prize.

Payal Kapadia’s recognised projects 

In 2015, Kapadia's experimental short film The Last Mango Before Monsoon won both a Special Jury Prize and a FIPRESCI Prize at the Oberhausen International Film Festival. In addition, the movie received multiple other honours, including Special Mention at Filmadrid and Best Film and Best Editing at the 2016 Mumbai International Film Festival. The skilled director was selected for the Berlinale Talents Program and the Cinefondation Cannes Residency in 2019.

However, 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.

Still from A Night of Knowing Nothing


In an interview with Open The Magazine, the filmmaker had discussed the themes she chooses for her movies and said that, in addition to her work, "things like marriage, love, and commitment are also in one’s face" at her age. "I use these characters to answer some of those questions," replied Kapadia.


(with inputs from PTI)


Published April 12th, 2024 at 18:53 IST