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Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine as Light – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 10

Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine as Light – 2024 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 10

It’s been a solid three decades since Shaji N Karun’s Swaham competed for Palme in 1994, making this a significant moment for Indian auteur cinema. Yet, it’s an even more monumental occasion for Payal Kapadia, transitioning from docum cinema to narrative fiction on the highest platform. She debuted on the Croisette in the Directors’ Fortnight section with her dreamy B&W feature film A Night Of Knowing Nothing which actually won the l’Oeil d’Or for Best Docu in Cannes and her association with the fest does not stop there: she presented her short Afternoon Clouds prior to that in 2017. Workshopped at the Oxbelly Writers & Directors Lab in 2020, All We Imagine as Light shot at two different junctures last year in January and July. Among the producers we find Roberto Minervini – who was a winner for Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section with his feature – The Damned.

Gist: Set in Mumbai, this follows Praba (Kani Kusruti), a nurse, who receives an unexpected gift from her long estranged husband that throws her life into disarray. Her younger roommate, Anu (Divya Prabha), 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.

Current temperature: Just under the two-hour mark, this France, India, Netherlands, Luxembourg co-production and Malayalam and Hindi spoken sophomore feature managed to swoon 19 of our 20 critics with a chart topping (moving ahead of Audiard and Baker) average score of 3.5.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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