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Indians Win Awards At Cannes

By Saibal Chatterjee/PTI
May 24, 2024 12:08 IST
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IMAGE: Third prize winner Mansi Maheshwari, First prize winner Chidananda S Naik and joint Second Prize winners Asya Segalovich and Nikos Kolioukos. Photograph: Kind courtesy Film and Television Institute of India Pune/X

In a major triumph for India at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, Chidananda S Naik's Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know... has won the first prize in the La Cinef competition.

The Mysuru doctor-turned film-maker made the film at the end of his one-year course in the television wing of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India.

Sunflowers... is based on a Kannada folk tale about an old woman who steals a rooster. As a result of her action, the sun stops rising in the village.


The third prize in the La Cinef competition on Thursday went to India-born Mansi Maheshwari's animation film Bunnyhood.

Maheshwari, born in Meerut and an ex-student of NIFT Delhi, made the film as a student of UK's National Film and Television School.

The second prize was shared by Out of the Widow Through the Wall, directed by Columbia University's Asya Segalovich, and The Chaos She Left Behind made by Nikos Kolioukos of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Cannes Film Festival awards a 15,000 Euro grant for the first prize winner, 11,250 euros for the second prize and 7,500 euros for the third prize.

The winning films will be screened at the Cinema du Pantheon on June 3 and at the MK2 Quai de Seine on June 4.

The first prize for Naik is India's second in five years. In 2020, Ashmita Guha Neogi, also from FTII, won the award for her film CatDog.

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