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“Don’t Wait Another 30 Years”: Payal Kapadia’s Historic Win Lights Up Cannes

Indian director Payal Kapadia at Cannes Film Festival

“Don’t wait 30 years to have another Indian film,” declared Payal Kapadia, her voice filled with pride and a touch of defiance, as she accepted the Grand Prix award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. This powerful statement resonated through the festival halls, marking a historic moment for Indian cinema.

Kapadia’s directorial debut, “All We Imagine as Light,” wasn’t just the first Indian film directed by a woman to compete in the Grand Prix, it went on to win the second prestigious Grand Prix! This is a monumental achievement, securing the second-highest honor at Cannes after Palm d’Or and showcasing the power of Indian storytelling on a global stage.

The Grand Prix recognizes excellence in a feature film, and Kapadia’s win shatters barriers. It’s a testament to her talent and vision, proving that impactful narratives transcend borders and resonate with audiences worldwide. While details about the film itself are still emerging, the excitement surrounding “All We Imagine as Light” is palpable. 

The joy radiating from the cast and crew, including actors Kani Kusruti, Chhaya Kadam, and Divya Prabha, during their red-carpet celebration, has captured hearts back home in India.

Cannes boasts a rich and prestigious history, dating back to 1939. Winning an award here is a massive accomplishment, and for Kapadia, as a director, it’s particularly noteworthy. This achievement serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring filmmakers, especially women, demonstrating that dedication and talent pave the way for success on the international stage.

This isn’t Kapadia’s first attempt with Cannes. Her documentary, “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” premiered and won the Oeil d’Or award in 2021. “All We Imagine as Light” further cements her position as a rising star in the world of cinema.

Kapadia’s historic win is a moment of immense pride for Indian cinema. It’s a reminder that powerful visions can find a global audience, and hopefully, an inspiration for a new wave of groundbreaking Indian films.

Let’s hope, as Kapadia declared, that we don’t have to wait another 30 years to witness such 


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