Indian Films Screening At Cannes 2024
India At Cannes: Cinema makes a comeback

8 films, made in or centred around the country, to be screened at the 77th edition of the annual Film Festival

India has more things to celebrate than just its red-carpet looks in this edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which in recent times has become a Met Gala alternative for Indian celebs. The spotlight is on Indian films and India in film with eight diverse movies representing the country in the official categories. The lineup is a celebration of the old and the new. While the Cannes audience will get to see the restored version of the Shyam Benegal classic, Manthan, after almost 50 years of its release, Payal Kapadia's All We Imagine As Light will premiere at the festival and will compete for the coveted Palme d'Or. Here are all the films that are set to make India proud at the 77th edition of the annual international film festival to be be held at Cannes from May 14-25.


1. All We Imagine As Light by Payal Kapadia


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Two nurses from Kerala work in a Mumbai hospital. They are roommates, but although they inhabit the same physical space, their lives couldn’t be more different. But neither are happy. They embark on a curious road trip to a beach town in pursuit of a better reality; it become a journey of self-discovery.

This is Payal Kapadia’s debut feature and is selected for the prestigious Palme d'Or award. It would compete with likes of Yórgos Lánthimos’s Kinds Of Kindness, Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis, Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope, David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds, etc. It is the first Indian film in 30 years, to compete for the top award (the previous being Shaji N Karun’s Malayalam film, Swaham in 1994)

The movie will premiere on 23 May 2024.


2. Manthan By Shyam Benegal


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Almost 50 years after its release, Shyam Benegal's Manthan, India's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 1976, is set for a Cannes screening. Freshly restored by Film Heritage Foundation, it is part of the Cannes Classics segment this year and will be screened along with movies like Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), Robert Bresson’s Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), Wim Wenders’s Palme d’or winner Paris, Texas (1984), etc.

Starring Girish Karnad, Smita Patil, and Naseeruddin Shah among others, the classic was inspired by the works of Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution, and is one of the earliest examples of a crowdsourced movies --500,000 farmers, who were members of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, contributed Rs 2 each towards the project.


3. Sister Midnight by Karan Kandhari


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Scheduled to premiere at the Directors' Fortnight Cannes on May 19, the Film4 and BFI-backed film is led by Radhika Apte who plays a misfit, forced into an arranged marriage setup. Set in Mumbai, the film follows her as she tries to get adjusted to her fresh realities while navigating her own feral impulses.


4. Santosh by Sandhya Suri




Headlined by Shahana Goswami, this UK-European co-production follows the newly-widowed Santosh inherit her husband’s job as a police constable; when a low-caste girl is murdered in the region, she joins the investigation. The film has been selected in the Un Certain Regard selection, a parallel selection to the Cannes Festival competition that showcases young talent from all across the globe.


5. In Retreat by Maisam Ali


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The FTII graduate’s fiction feature debut is about a man, who after returning to his hometown after ages, embarks on a one-night pilgrimage. Set and shot in Ladakh, it explores the tourist hub in a way not usually seen on screen. It is the first-ever title from India to get selected in the Association for the International Distribution of Independent Cinemas (ACID) Cannes section. ACID supports independent filmmakers, and there are nine films being showcased in the section this year.


6. Shameless by Konstantin Bojanov


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The gritty Hindi film, starring Mita Vashisht, is one of 18 titles in Un Certain Regard at the upcoming 77th Cannes Film Festival. Set in a fictional north Indian city, it follows Renuka who escapes from a brothel after stabbing a policeman and takes refuge in a community of sex workers where she meets Devika. The story of forbidden romance is directed by Bulgarian filmmaker and visual artist Konstantin Bojanov.


7. Bunnyhood by Mansi Maheshwari 


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The 9-minute animated short that explores a young girl's anxiety, is Mansi’s 2024 graduation film for The National Film and Television School (NFTS). It has been picked for the prestigious La Cinéf category, which has 18 shorts (14 live action and 4 animations) selected from 2,263 submissions from various film schools.

This is the fourth consecutive selection of an NFTS student film at La Cinéf.


8. Sunflowers Were The First Ones To Know by Chidananda S Naik


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Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) student Chidananda’s year-end film, which is a 15-minute Kannada short, has also gotten selected in the La Cinef section. Shot mostly at night, it is an intriguing tale of an elderly woman who steals the community’s rooster disrupting its normalcy and harmony, and literally plunging the village into darkness.

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