Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Payal Kapadia won the second most prestigious award at Cannes 2024.
  • The FTII alumni has a history of struggle with her college management.

Payal Kapadia who was an unknown name for many till this Friday became a part of the history on Saturday. Her gripping drama “All We Imagine As Light” became the first Indian film in three decades to win the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes 2024 and the first movie ever by an Indian female director to be shown in such a big competition at the reputed International Film Festival.

Importantly Payal Kapadia’s movie won the award titled Palme d’Or which is the second most prestigious award of the Cannes Film Festival. This first directorial venture from Payal has received huge appreciation from the international press which is a great feat for a young debutant director. International critics have hailed the director for her storytelling prowess in the Malayalam-Hindi film.

Tussle between Payal and Chauhan at FTII

While Payal has indeed shown the world her talent with this win, this FTII graduate had a tough time during her graduation days as she led a 139-day protest against Gajendra Chauhan who was appointed as the chairman of the institution. She spearheaded this historic fight against the actor who is more known for his role as Yudhishtira in Mahabharata .

Payal and her supporters boycotted the classes because they felt that Chauhan lacked the qualification required for becoming a chairperson of an institution like FTII which has been headed by some of the biggest names from the entertainment field like Anupam Kher and Shekhar Kapur. This led to disciplinary action against Payal Kapadia and her supporters by Prashant Pathrabe, the then FTII director who issued an order that the batch vacates the hostel.

The students were also given a notice to assess their incomplete film projects which was considered unjustified and irrational by Payal and students protesting against Chauhan’s appointment. The students remained unfazed and instead formed a human chain and faced Pathrabe asking for clarification.

Payal was penalised, arrested

In return, the management at FTII got five students arrested at midnight, and around 35 students including Payal Kapadia were booked in the charge sheet. Payal and seven other students lost their scholarships and were stopped from participating in FTII’s foreign exchange program. After a year the stance of FTII towards Kapadia softened when her short film titled Afternoon Clouds made it to the Cannes International Festival.

Later on, Payal won the Best Documentary award “le prix du documentaire” at the Cannes 2021 for her documentary A Night of Knowing Nothing. So the young director already had made an impression at Cannes before her recent big win at the film festival.

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