All We Imagine As Light's Payal Kapadia calls FTII an important space: ‘You need to find people who you can work with’ - Hindustan Times
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All We Imagine As Light's Payal Kapadia calls FTII an important space: ‘You need to find people who you can work with’

By | Edited by Santanu Das
May 27, 2024 06:25 PM IST

Payal Kapadia's All We Imagine As Light was the first film in three decades to enter the Main Competition section at the Cannes Film Festival.

Payal Kapadia scripted history by becoming the first Indian director to win the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival for her film All We Imagine As Light. The writer-director, who is an alumni of Film and Television Institute of India, spoke to Film Companion ahead of the premiere of the film about the importance of the space that nurtures young voices. (Also read: Tracing Payal Kapadia's journey, from protesting against Gajendra Chauhan at FTII to winning Grand Prix at Cannes)

Payal Kapadia, winner of the grand prize for 'All We Imagine as Light,' poses for photographers during the photo call following the awards ceremony at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP/PTI)(AP05_26_2024_000233B)(AP)
Payal Kapadia, winner of the grand prize for 'All We Imagine as Light,' poses for photographers during the photo call following the awards ceremony at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP/PTI)(AP05_26_2024_000233B)(AP)

What Payal said

In the interview, Payal was joined by cinematographer Ranabir Das, who talked about FTII and said, “I don’t think it is about what a year like this can do… it is just a testament to the space and what has been happening for many years now. I think it is some sort of validation, among many forms, that have existed there. It is a space that has given opportunities to a lot of us who have been there to grow and make films.”

‘FTII is really important…’

Meanwhile, Payal added, “Maisam [Ali] is my batchmate and his film is also here which is so nice. Raghu also, who was in the editing batch. We all grew up together in the time that we spent there and it was a space that changed us a lot in terms of how we think about the world and ourselves. So, FTII is really important in the process. Filmmaking is a very long process and you need to find people who you can work with and they understand what you have in mind… FTII becomes a nice space to experiment and work things out and that carries on even later on. I think it is important that we make sure that spaces like FTII can exist and more places like this can be there which are public funded in all states, so that everybody gets the opportunity. ”

Payal led a student protest against the appointment of actor-politician Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of her alma mater, Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. An FIR was filed against Payal and 34 other students for holding FTII director Prashant Pathrabe captive in his office in 2015.

All We Imagine As Light received an eight-minute standing ovation and glowing reviews from the international critics. The film stars Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, and Chhaya Kadam.

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