Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia on Saturday won the the L’Oeil d’Or: Le Prix du documentaire, an award for best documentary, at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival for her film A Night of Knowing Nothing.
The film documents student protests across the country and is Kapadia’s first feature film.
Kapadia an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, previously had a premiere of her film Afternoon Clouds (2017) at the prestigious film festival.
Kapadia’s film was competing for the award against Todd Haynes’ ”The Velvet Underground”, Andrea Arnold’s ”Cow”, Oliver Stone’s ”JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass”, Marco Bellocchio’s ”Marx Can Wait”, Sergei Loznitsa’s ”Babi Yar. Context”, Mark Cousins’s ”The Story of Film: A New Generation” and Rahul Jain’s ”Invisible Demons”, among others.
“I’m really honoured to receive this prize as there have been wonderful filmmakers who have got it in the past. Our film is quite experimental, so we were a bit surprised too,” Kapadia was quoted as saying to The Sunday Express.
“Initially, we were shooting our friends and talking a lot about matters of love, and the impossibility of certain relationships because of caste or religious differences. We realised that talking about young people in India cannot be done without discussing discrimination. So, writer Himanshu (Prajapati) and we culled out a fictional narrative from all the stories we had documented,” Kapadia had said to media outlets after a screening of the film at Cannes earlier this week.
“The film uses the device of a letter, written by L to K, two students at FTII, who fall in love with each but they get separated as K has to return to his village, to highlight the cracks in Indian society at present and the truth of everyday life of a young person in the country,” the Sunday Express reported.