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FTII Student From Karnataka Wins Cannes Award

FTII Student From Karnataka Wins Cannes Award

FTII Student From Karnataka Wins Cannes Award

CANNES, (ANI) – Indian film ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’ has won the first prize at La Cinef on May 23.

Directed by Chidananda S Naik, a student from FTII, Pune, ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’ tells the story of an elderly woman who steals a rooster, plunging a village into darkness. The 2024 La Cinef Prizes were awarded during a grand ceremony at the Bunuel Theatre, here.

In an interview with Variety, Chidananda S Naik shared his experience working on ‘Sunflowers’ saying, “We had only four days. I was basically told not to make this film. It’s based on folklore from Karnataka, India. These are the stories we grew up with, so I was carrying this idea since my childhood,” he said.

Naik, a Mysuru doctor-turned-filmmaker, created the film at the end of his one-year course in the television wing of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India.

The jury, led by President Lubna Azabal, along with Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, Claudine Nougaret, Paolo Moretti, and Vladimir Perisic, awarded joint second prize to ‘The Chaos She Left Behind’ by Nikos Kolioukos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Greece) and ‘Out the Window Through the Wall’ by Asya Segalovich (Columbia University – US). The third prize went to ‘Bunnyhood’ by Mansi Maheshwari (NFTS – United Kingdom).

“I was so happy that animation got to compete with live-action. It’s all film,” noted one of the directors.

For its 27th edition, La Cinef selected 18 shorts – 14 live-action and 4 animated – from 2,263 submissions from film schools worldwide. The program highlighted the geographic mobility of film students, featuring films like ‘Crow Man’ by Yohann Abdelnour (ALBA – Lebanon), ‘Banished Love’ directed by Xiwen Cong (Beijing Film Academy – China), ‘It’ll Pass’ (‘Praeis’) by Dovydas Draksas (London Film School – United Kingdom), and ‘Echoes’ by Robinson Drossos (ENSAD – France).

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