Cannes Film Festival has been the grandest and the most esteemed international film festival across the globe.

Payal Kapadia’s ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ has won her the Best Documentary Oeil d’Or award in this year’s 74th edition of the festival and has made India incredibly proud.

Her Prestigious Win

A Night of Knowing Nothing was selected and screened along with 27 other documentary entries at the festival. 

Some of the noteworthy entries, except Kapadia’s, were Mark Cousins’s The Story of Film: A New Generation, Oliver Stone’s JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, Todd Haynes’ The Velvet Underground, and Andrea Arnold’s Cow.

American documentary producer Ezra Edelman headed the jury for the Oeil d’Or award. French filmmaker Julie Bertuccelli, French actor Deborah Francois, Franco-American film critic Iris Brey and Orwa Nyrabia, artistic director of the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) Amsterdam were the members of the jury along with Edelman.

The Mumbai-based filmmaker wowed this jury and bagged the Oeil d’Or. 

A Night Of Knowing Nothing

The film documents the dynamics of a long-distance relationship. The story follows a university student L who’s studying at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), India and falls in love with K.

K returns to his hometown and in an attempt to keep their relationship alive, L writes letters to K. 

Through these letters, we come to know bits and pieces of different aspects of her life. With personal testimonials of L’s life in the letters, the story of a young girl slowly unravels in front of our eyes.

A Still From ‘A Night Of Knowing Nothing’

We see dreams merging with reality, fiction merging with truth and by the time we finish watching it, we have A Night of Knowing Nothing stored in our hearts as one inexplicable and magical experience. It is film-making truly at its finest.

Read More: Watch: 5 Independent Indian Films That Deserve More Recognition

A Look Into Kapadia’s Journey

Payal Kapadia has been a Film Direction student at FTII, Pune, and a quite rebellious one at that. 

In 2015, she was charged with disciplinary action and led a four-month-long protest. The protest was against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, the TV actor turned politician, as FTII’ Chairman. Along with the disciplinary action, she had also lost her scholarship due to the protest. 

There was also an FIR lodged against her for allegedly “holding then director Prashant Pathrabe captive” in his office, for raising her voice as she along with the other students objected to the assessment of incomplete projects of students from the 2008 batch.

But FTII did recognise and acknowledge her talent and funded her travel expenses when her short film Afternoon Clouds was shortlisted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Afternoon Clouds was the only official entry to the festival that year.

Fast forward to four years later, and she has won in the same category.

Her Other Works

She has two other films in her resume that are all equally as special as ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ and ‘Afternoon Clouds’. And What is the Summer Saying (2018), and The Last Mango Before the Monsoon (2015), both are critically acclaimed.

And What Is The Summer Saying is an experimental short film by Kapadia. World premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018, it has won various awards.

The list includes the Special Jury Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam IDFA that year and the Pramod Pati Best Experimental Film Prize at the Mumbai International Film festival in 2020.

The Last Mango Before The Monsoon was also awarded noteworthy accolades. The film premiered at the Oberhausen International Film Festival in 2015 and was awarded the FIPRESCI award and Special Jury Prize.

The Future Awaits

We cannot wait to see what all wonders she graces us with. We also wish her all the very best for her upcoming project ‘All We Imagine As Light’. The future awaits.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Print, Hindustan Times, The Directors’ Fortnight Official Website

Find the Blogger: @NandiniMazumde5

The post is tagged under: Payal Kapadia, Cannes Film Festival, A Night of Knowing Nothing, Best Documentary Oeil d’Or award, Best Documentary, Oeil d’Or award, documentaries, Mark Cousins, The Story of Film: A New Generation, Oliver Stone, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, Todd Haynes, The Velvet Underground, Andrea Arnold, Cow, Ezra Edelman, Julie Bertuccelli, Deborah Francois, Iris Brey, Orwa Nyrabia, Mumbai, filmmaker, FTII, experience, story, hometown, Pune, disciplinary action, protest, Gajendra Chauhan, TV actor, politician, FTII Chairman, scholarship, Prashant Pathrabe, Afternoon Clouds, And What is the Summer Saying, The Last Mango Before the Monsoon, Berlin International Film Festival, International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam IDFA, Pramod Pati Best Experimental Film Prize, Mumbai International Film festival, Oberhausen International Film Festival, FIPRESCI award, Special Jury Prize, All We Imagine As Light

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