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77th Cannes Film Festival: Sean Baker’s Anora won Palme d’Or & Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light won Grand Prix 

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The 77th annual Cannes Film Festival took place from 14 to 25 May 2024The 77th annual Cannes International Film Festival was held from May 14 to May 25, 2024, in Cannes, France. American comedy-drama film ‘Anora’ directed by Sean Baker won the Palme d’Or, the highest honour of the Cannes festival.

  • Indian film-maker Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine As Light’ and Iranian filmmaker Mohammed Rasoulof’s ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ won the Grand Prix and Special Prix awards, respectively.

Noted Awards:

i.Kodi, the dog starred in the French comedy film “Le proces du chien” (Dog on Trial), won the Palm Dog, the award for the best canine performance.

ii.Studio Ghibli, Inc is a Japanese animation studio became the 1st collective to receive an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • It is known for its works like “My Neighbor Totoro”; “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”.
  • Goro Miyazaki, son of Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, received the award at the 2024 Cannes.

iii.American actress Meryl Streep received an honorary Palme d’Or during the opening ceremony and George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars” recevied the honorary Palme d’Or during the closing ceremony.

Points to note: 

i.The opening and closing ceremonies of the festival was hosted by French actress Camille Cottin.

ii.The nine-member jury of the competition was led by American filmmaker and actress Greta Gerwig as jury president.

Indian Winners at 77th Cannes: 

i.Indian film ‘All We Imagine as Light’ directed by Payal Kapadia won the Grand Prix, the 2nd highest award of the festival. She became the first Indian to win this award.

  • The film was granted official Indo-French co production status by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, under the signed Audio-Visual treaty between India and France.
  • This is the first Indian film in 30 years to be nominated for Palme d’Or, the highest award in the festival.
  • Previously, Malayalam director Shaji N Karun’s rural-set classic “Swaham” was nominated for Palme d’Or in 1994.

ii.Santosh Sivan, an Indian cinematographer and film director, was honoured with the Pierre Angénieux Tribute Award in recognition of his career and exceptional quality of work. He became the first Asian to win this award.

iii.Indian actress Anasuya Sengupta won the Best Actress award for her performance in ‘The Shameless’ in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category.

  • She became the first Indian Actress to win the Best Actress award at the Cannes.

iv.Mysuru (Karnataka) filmmaker Chidananda S. Naik, the student of the Film and Television Institute of India(FTII),  won 1st prize in the La Cinéf section for his 15-minute short film “Sunflowers Were the First to Know,” based on Kannada folklore. The film was produced by FTII’s TV Wing’s One-year program.

  • Previously, Chidananda S. Naik was selected as one of the 75 Creative Minds at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), an initiative of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB) to support young artists in the field of Cinema.

v.India-born Mansi Maheshwari’s “Bunnyhood”, an animated film, won the 3rd prize in the La Cinef Selection.

Celebrated Indian films: 

i.Indian Director Shyam Benegal’s film “Manthan” was showcased at Cannes in the classic section. The film was initially released in 1976.

  • The film was preserved at the National Film Archives of India (NFDC-NFAI) under MIB and restored by the Film Heritage Foundation.

ii.Independent film-maker and FTII alumnus, Maisam Ali’s film “In Retreat” was screened at the ACID Cannes sidebar programme, a section run by the Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema,

  • This becomes the first Indian film screened in this section since its inception in 1993.

Indian Pavilion:

i.The Bharat Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, set up by NFDC (National Film Development Corporation of India) under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB), served as a key platform for Indian filmmakers and producers to engage with international film companies.

ii.Over 500 business meetings were held, promising future collaborations.

iii.The pavilion also hosted the first Bharat Parv in Cannes, celebrating India’s creative economy with over 250 delegates

iv.The event featured the unveiling of posters for the 55th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the save-the-date poster for the inaugural World Audio Visual Entertainment Summit (WAVES).

About the Cannes Film Festival:

i.Cannes Film Festival, officially named Festival de Cannes, is a film festival held annually in Cannes, France. The first annual Cannes Film Festival was held in 1946.

ii.It is now the world’s most prestigious film gathering, as well as the most widely published cultural event. It previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world.

Awards and Categories:

The Cannes Film Festival awards are given under different categories of Feature films, Short films, Un Certain Regard, La Cinéf, Caméra D’or, The Higher Technical Commission for Sound and Images, and L’Œil d’Or – Year of the Documentary.

About Palme d’Or:

i.The Palme d’Or,  introduced in 1955 by the festival’s organizing committee, is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

ii.It is awarded to the director of the Best Feature Film of the official competition.

Winners 2024 – Feature Films:

Award CategoryWinnerDirector
Palme d’OrAnoraSean Baker
Grand PrixAll We Imagine As LightPayal Kapadia
Special AwardMohammad Rasoulof
for The Seed of the Sacred Fig
Best DirectorMiguel Gomes For Grand Tour
Best Performance By An ActorJesse Plemons For Kinds Of KindnessYorgos Lanthimos
Best Performance By An ActressAdriana Paz; Zoe Saldaña; Karla Sofía Gascón; and Selena Gomez For Emilia PérezJacques Audiard
Best ScreenplayCoralie Fargeat For The Substance
Jury PrizeL’histoire De SouleymaneBoris Lojkine

Click here for the complete list of winners