Chhaya Kadam: Earlier my name wouldn’t even be written in film reviews, now I have a Grand Prix winning film at Cannes

This is undoubtedly the year of Chhaya Kadam! Following a successful streak with the actor’s earlier releases, Laapataa Ladies and Madgaon Express, her film All That We Imagine As Light became the first Indian film to clinch the Grand Prix at the recently concluded 77th Cannes Film Festival. Another one of her films, Sister Midnight, was also showcased at Directors Fortnight. Speaking to us after the Grand Prix ceremony, Kadam exclaims, “It was the first Indian film to be featured in the main competition in three decades, and we immediately won an award! We had a narrative grounded in our homeland about women like us. For a topic like that to be chosen here… I am speechless.”

Actor Chhaya Kadam

Acknowledging her remarkable year, she says, “People at Cannes also recognized me as Manju Mai (from Laapataa Ladies); they would say, ‘hey Manju Mai, Chhaya Kadam‘.” Unlock exclusive access to the latest updates on India‘s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now! Kadam’s journey with acting commenced in 2006, then she went on to feature in Marathi films like Fandry (2013), Sairat (2016), and Nude (2018). “Previously, my struggle was to find work; now it is for quality work,” she shares, noting that it doesn’t end there. While she’s relishing the fame now, there was a period when the actor’s contributions went unnoticed. “Earlier, film critiques would omit mentioning my name, even if my role was significant. It used to hurt a lot. But then I thought I should work so diligently that people feel obliged to mention my name in their reviews,” she concludes with a laugh.

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