Payal Kapadia, on a warpath with FTII, earns praise from her alma mater for Cannes win | Bollywood

Pune, Amid the flood of congratulatory remarks for Payal Kapadia, who secured the second highest accolade at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, a message from her alma mater FTII commending her has captured considerable attention. At the gala, which concluded on Saturday, Kapadia made history by becoming the first Indian filmmaker to receive the Grand Prix award for “All We Imagine as Light”.

Payal Kapadia, who was on a collision course with FTII, receives accolades from her alma mater for Cannes triumph

On Sunday, the Film and Television Institute of India in a post on X noted it is a moment of pride for the FTII as its alumni make history at Cannes and congratulated Kapadia for the award. Back in 2015, Kapadia was on a conflicting path with the Film and Television Institute of India. Unlock exclusive access to the latest updates on India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now! She spearheaded a student demonstration against the appointment of actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan, widely recognized for his portrayal of Yudhisthir in the iconic TV serial “Mahabharat”, as the chairman of the Pune-based premier institute. The students protesting argued that Chauhan did not align with the vision and stature of previous chairmen of the FTII governing council, and his appointment seemed “politically driven”. During the 139-day strike, the students allegedly encircled and confined the then FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe in his office over certain academic matters. This event resulted in the police entering the campus and detaining several protesters. Subsequently, 35 students, including Kapadia, were charged under Indian Penal Code sections, including 143, 147, 149, 323, 353 and 506, managing offences, some non-bailable, related to unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, and rioting. The charge sheet in the case was submitted in 2016. The defense attorney representing the students mentioned the next court session is arranged for June 26. “It is a moment of pride for FTII as its alumni create history at Cannes. As we experience an extraordinary year for Indian Cinema at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, FTII cherishes the magnificent achievements of its alumni at this Grand International Platform of Cinema,” the institute stated in a post on X. “We extend our congratulations to Payal Kapadia for securing the Grand Prix Award, Santosh Sivan for receiving the Pierre Angénieux Tribute Award, Maisam Ali for his debut at ACID & Chidanand S Naik for winning La Cinef. Their successes are elevating Indian Cinema to greater heights,” the post continued. Oscar-winning Indian sound designer Resul Pookutty in a social media post remarked that the mainstream Indian film industry had no connection to this recognition and they “only viewed us as outcasts”. The only reason they triumphed is also not because “we had motivating teachers, some were but not all,” he stated. He added, “Payal returns from Cannes and next month, she will have to attend her court case hearing that FTII lodged against her for protesting Chouhan‘s appointment as the Chairman! Fascinating, isn’t it?!” Ameya Gore, one of the 35 students charged in the case, mentioned that following the incident, most students encountered issues with scholarships and obtaining passports. “The case persists in the Sessions Court, but there hasn’t been any advancement from the prosecution’s end. The trial hasn’t commenced yet. Hearings are typically arranged every two to three months, but nothing transpires because no one from the prosecution appears,” Gore stated. Attorney Chinmay Inamdar, defending the students, indicated that the prosecution has filed the charge sheet but not furnished the video file in the form of CD/DVD or pen drive of the event where the director was encircled in 2015. “We have filed a request before the court to obtain a copy so that we can file for the students’ discharge application, and this matter is pending. The next hearing is set to occur on June 26,” he said. It was a stellar achievement for Indian talent at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival with Kapadia‘s “All We Imagine As Light”, “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” by FTII student Chidananda S Naik, and Anasuya Sengupta of “The Shameless” fame winning significant awards in each of the three competitive sections at Cannes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India is “proud” of Kapadia for her historic accomplishment. “An alumnus of FTII, her remarkable talent continues to shine on the global stage, showcasing the rich creativity in India. This prestigious award not only honors her exceptional abilities but also inspires a fresh generation of Indian filmmakers,” he commented in a post on X. This piece was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to the content.

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