FTII student’s film makes it to Cannes

Payal Kapadia’s Afternoon Clouds is among 16 short films selected from 2,600 submissions

April 13, 2017 12:06 am | Updated 12:06 am IST - Mumbai

A short film made by a student from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, has made it to a selection of films to be screened at the film festival in Cannes.

Payal Kapadia’s 13-minute film, Afternoon Clouds , has been chosen in the Cinefondation category, open to film schools across the world. The 70th Festival de Cannes is to be held from May 17 - 28.

This is the first time an FTII film has been picked up for in Cinefondation category. “It’s the first time we participated and we struck gold,” says FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola.

Last year, the work of a student of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, was selected in the same category. Ms. Kapadia is a student of FTII’s film direction course. Her work, starring Usha Naik and Trimala Adhikari, is about Kaki, a 60-year-old widow who lives with her Nepali maid Malati.

The film draws on Ms. Kapadia’s own life. Her grandmother, a widow, used to live with a young Nepali house help. What hit Ms. Kapadia was the take of the two women — one in the autumn of her life, the other just starting out — on relationships and love.

The film is among the 14 works of fiction and two animation films picked up from 2600 works submitted in the category. This year it sees representation from film schools of 14 countries, including NYU Tisch School of the Arts, USA, and Iranian National School of Cinema.

The awards for both the Short Films Competition and Cinefondation Selection will be decided by the jury presided by renowned Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu, winner of the Palme d’Or in 2007 for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

The three prizes in the Cinefondation Selection category will be awarded on May 26 at the festival in the Bunuel theatre.

Afternoon Clouds was shot as a dialogue exercise, in which students explore the use of the spoken word in cinema. It was mandatory to shoot it completely indoors, on a set.

What enthuses Ms. Kapadia most is the fact that it was shot entirely on film, at a time when things are going digital. “It’s nice to shoot on film, it brings discipline to work,” she says.

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