Mysuru filmmaker wins first prize at Cannes Film Festival

The Uncut

Ear. Chidanand S Naik’s film ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’ has won the first prize in the La Cinéfe competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Naik, a resident of Mysore, who came into the field of filmmaking from the medical profession, made this film at the end of his one-year course at the television wing of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The story of the film is based on a folk tale in the Kannada language. This story is about an old woman who steals a chicken and after this her village is plunged into darkness.

The third prize at the La Cinéfa competition in Cannes was awarded on Thursday to India-born Manasi Maheshwari’s animation film ‘Bunnyhood’. Born in Meerut and a former student of NIFT, Delhi, Maheshwari produced the film while studying at the National Film and Television School in Britain.

Second prize in the La Cinéfa competition went to ‘Out of the Widow Through the Wall’ directed by Asya Segalovich of Columbia University and ‘The Chaos She Left Behind’ by Nikos Kolikos of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. The Cannes Film Festival awards a grant of 15,000 euros for the first prize winner, 11,250 euros for the second prize and 7,500 euros for the third prize.

The award-winning films will be screened at the Cinema du Pantheon on June 3 and at the MK2 Quai de Seine on June 4. This is the first award for Naik and the second award that has come to India in the last five years. In 2020, Ashmita Guha Neogi, also from FTII, won this award for her film ‘CatDog’.

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