W Power 2024

All We Imagine As Light: Indian film to compete for Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Here is a list of the 19 films competing for the top prize, the Palme d'Or, as well as a selection of other movies premiering out of competition

Published: Apr 12, 2024 12:48:38 PM IST
Updated: Apr 12, 2024 06:33:25 PM IST

All We Imagine As Light: Indian film to compete for Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film FestivalWorkers prepare the red carpet ahead of the opening of the 76th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 16, 2023. Image: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola will return to the Cannes Film Festival with his long-awaited epic "Megalopolis", organisers said on Thursday, announcing a line-up that includes some huge names of world cinema.

The 77th edition of the festival on the French Cote d'Azur, considered the most prestigious in the film industry, runs from May 14 to 25.

This year's competition for the top prize, the Palme d'Or, includes another team-up between Emma Stone and Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos -- "Kinds of Kindness" -- just weeks after Stone's Oscar win for their Frankenstein-style satire "Poor Things".

"The Apprentice", a biopic about the early years of Donald Trump by Iran-born director Ali Abbasi, is expected to draw a lot of attention.

And Canadian horror maestro David Cronenberg returns with what is billed as his most personal film yet, "The Shrouds", with Vincent Cassel.

But all eyes are likely to be on Coppola's "Megalopolis", marking the return of "The Godfather" director to the Cannes Croisette at the age of 85.

He has twice won the Palme d'Or -- for "The Conversation" (1974) and, controversially, for "Apocalypse Now" (1979), which was not even finished when it premiered at the festival.

He has self-funded "Megalopolis", said to be a Roman political drama transplanted to modern-day New York, starring Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker and a host of other stars.

Indian connect

Indian audience will be rooting for writer-director Payal Kapadia's debut feature, "All We Imagine As Light". The film looks at the story of Prabha, a nurse, who receives an unexpected gift from her long estranged husband, causing a disruption in her life. Her roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a private spot in the big city to be alone with her boyfriend. One day, the two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town where the mystical forest becomes a space for their dreams to manifest.

Kapadia's fiction will be the first film to compete in the main competition in the past 30 years. Shaji N Karun’s "Swaham" was the last movie to contest for Palme d'Or.

This is the second time Kapadia's work will be featured in the festival. Her documentary "A Night of Knowing Nothing" premiered under the Director's Fortnight section and won the Golden Eye honour for best documentary in 2021.

British-Indian filmmaker Sandhya Suri’s film ‘Santosh’ has been selected for the Un Certain Regard section of the festival.

Also read: Directors should 'control' tech, not fear it: Martin Scorsese

'Emmanuelle' returns

This year's jury is led by "Barbie" director Greta Gerwig, who "embodies perfectly the soul of the festival", said Cannes president Iris Knobloch.

Among the more intriguing entries Gerwig will judge is "Emilia Perez", a musical comedy about a Mexican cartel boss undergoing a sex-change operation, with popstar-actor Selena Gomez in a supporting role -- the latest unlikely creation from Palme-winning French director Jacques Audiard.

It was already known that "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga", the latest instalment of the post-apocalyptic franchise, will get its world premiere at the festival, playing out of competition.

So will Kevin Costner's new opus, "Horizon, An American Saga", in which the veteran star plays alongside Sienna Miller in the first of a planned series about the American West.  

Meanwhile, George Lucas -- the man behind "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" -- will receive an honorary Palme d'Or at the closing ceremony.

A film about women's rights in China will also play out of competition. "She Has No Name" stars two of the country's biggest stars, Lei Jiayin and Zhang Ziyi.

Two highly topical films will have special screenings.

"La Belle de Gaza" follows transsexual Palestinians moving to Israel and "The Invasion" by Sergei Loznitsa centres on the war in his native Ukraine.

Success at Cannes can give a major boost to arthouse films such as last year's winner, "Anatomy of a Fall", which went on to win an avalanche of awards, including an Oscar.

Also read: Making smaller-budget Hindi films is getting harder, threatening industry growth

In competition

Here is a list of the 19 films competing for the top prize, the Palme d'Or, as well as a selection of other movies premiering out of competition.

  1. "The Apprentice" by Ali Abbasi
  2. "Motel Destino" by Karim Ainouz
  3. "Bird" by Andrea Arnold
  4. "Emilia Perez" by Jacques Audiard
  5. "Anora" by Sean Baker
  6. "Megalopolis" by Francis Ford Coppola
  7. "The Shrouds" by David Cronenberg
  8. "The Substance" by Coralie Fargeat
  9. "Grand Tour" by Miguel Gomes
  10. "Marcello Mio" by Christophe Honore
  11. "Caught By The Tides" by Jia Zhang-Ke
  12. "All We Imagine As Light" by Payal Kapadia
  13. "Kinds of Kindness" by Yorgos Lanthimos
  14. "L'Amour Ouf" (lit. "Crazy Love") by Gilles Lellouche
  15. "Wild Diamond" by Agathe Riedinger
  16. "Oh Canada" by Paul Schrader
  17. "Liminov: The Ballad of Eddie" by Kirill Serebrennikov
  18. "Parthenope" by Paolo Sorrentino
  19. "The Girl With The Needle" by Magnus von Horn

Out of competition

These films will have their premiere at Cannes but are not competing for the Palme d'Or:

  1. "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" by George Miller
  2. "Horizon, An American Saga" by Kevin Costner
  3. "A Second Act" by Quentin Dupieux
  4. "She's Got No Name" by Peter Ho-Sun Chan
  5. "Rumours" by Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson and Guy Maddin

(With inputs from AFP)

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