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Payal Kapadia's 'All We Imagine As Light' has to settle for a Grand Prix at Cannes (Lead)

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Cannes, May 26 (IANS) So near, yet so far. Payal Kapadia’s ‘All We Imagine As Light’ came home with the Grand Prix, but not the Palme d’Or, from the glittering awards event that brought the curtains down on the 77th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday night.

Still, it was a big moment for Indian cinema, which was evident from the extended standing ovation that the director and her three lead stars got from the house-full audience.

It was in as far back as 1994 that the festival’s prestigious competition section featured an Indian film — Malayalam director Shaji Karun’s ‘Swaham’, which did not win any award. The Palme d’Or that year, incidentally, went to Quentin Tarantino’s classic, ‘Pulp Fiction’.

The Palme d’Or went to American filmmaker Sean Baker for ‘Anora’ nine years after he was named one of the Directors to Watch by ‘Variety’, which calls the film “a rowdy whirlwind romance between an exotic dancer (Mikey Madison) and the obscenely rich son of a Russian oligarch (Mark Eydelshteyn).

Baker, notes ‘Variety’, is the first American director to clinch the top prize at Cannes after Terrence Malick earned it for ‘The Tree of Life’ in 2011.

Kapadia received the award from Hollywood star Viola Davis along with the film’s three lead actors — Kani Kusruti, Chhaya Kadam and Divya Prabha.

In her acceptance speech, Kapadia started by giving a shout-out to the Best Director award winner, Miguel Gomes from Portugal, whose work she said she followed.

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She then went on to make a statement on the value of female friendship, as opposed to the stereotypical representation of women pitting themselves against each other.

Kapadia also urged the festival’s decision-makers not to make the world wait “for another 30 years” to see an Indian film in the competition section.

Reacting almost immediately after the announcement, Anurag Kashyap raised a toast to the hope and inspiration that 38-year-old Kapadia has become to an emerging generation of independent filmmakers.

India has had a great run at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. Debutante actress Anasuya Sengupta got the Best Actress prize at the festival’s Un Certain Regard segment for her performance in Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov’s ‘The Shameless’.

Mysuru doctor-turned-filmmaking aspirant Chidananda Naik’s Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) student film ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know…’, which he made in just four days, won the first prize at the ‘La Cinef’ segment of the festival.

Also honoured at Cannes was the veteran cinematographer, Santosh Sivan, who became the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious Pierre Angenieux ExcelLens in Cinematography award named after the inventor of the zoom lens that revolutionised cinematography.

Hailed by the BBC as a “magical ode to nocturnal Mumbai”, ‘All We Imagine As Light’ has been described as “a delicate triple portrait of women who have devoted their lives to helping others, but have received precious little in return in terms of money, status or freedom.”

As would be expected from a Payal Kapadia film, it makes a strong political statement as well by showing one of the characters, a Hindu, nurturing a relationship with a young Muslim man.

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The film’s climax, in more than one way, is the scene of them making love in a forest near the beach town where the three lead characters decide to have a little break.

The stars of the Indian-French co-production are Kani Kusruti, who audiences outside Kerala would identify as the one who plays the strong-willed personal secretary of Huma Qureishi’s character in ‘Maharani’, Chhaya Kadam, last seen bringing the house down with her stellar performance in ‘Laapataa Ladies’, and Divya Prabha.

Kapadia, who’s acclaimed artist Nalini Malini’s daughter and FTII graduate, won the Golden Eye at Cannes in 2021 for her politically incendiary debut documentary, ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’.

The jury for the competition films was presided over by the ‘Barbie’ hitmaker Greta Gerwig. Its members, a number of them women, included J.A. Bayona, Spanish filmmaker; Ebru Ceylan, Turkish actress and screenwriter; Pierfrancesco Favino, Italian actor-producer; ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ star Lily Gladstone; Eva Green, French actress; Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda; Nadine Labaki, Lebanese actress and filmmaker; and French actor Omar Sy.

Here’s the complete roster of the other winners who were honoured on Saturday night:

Jury Prize: Former Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard’s Spanish film ‘Emilia Perez’. The Mexico-set musical — about a cartel boss who disappears in order to re-emerge as a woman, according to ‘Variety’ — stars Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez and trans star Karla Sofía Gascon.

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Best Director: Miguel Gomes from Portugal for ‘Grand Tour’, which blends colour and black- and-white cinematography to tell the early 20th-century story of a British civil servant who attempts to flee his fiancee by hopping from one Asian country to the next.

Best Actor: Jesse Plemons, a.k.a. Kirsten Dunst’s husband, ‘Kinds of Kindness’ (director: Yorgos Lanthimos, who was in the news not so long ago for his Emma Stone film, ‘Poor Things’). Plemons, says ‘Variety’, plays three roles, those of submissive businessman, grieving police officer and bisexual cult member in this surrealist satire.

Special Award for Best Screenplay: ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’, Iranian dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof’s latest film, for which he was condemned to an eight-year prison sentence back home

Best Actress: The quartet of stars of the Spanish film ‘Emilia Perez’ — Adriana Paz, Zoe Saldana, Karla Sofia Gascon and Selena Gomez. Lily Gladstone of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, who was on the jury presided over by Greta Gerwig, described the award as “the harmony of sisterhood”.

Best Screenplay: ‘The Substance’ (starring Demi Moore), Coralie Fargeat

Camera d’Or (which is awarded to a first film): ‘Armand’, director Halfdan Ullmann Tondel, who, incidentally, is grandson of Norwegian actress Liv Ullman and Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.

Special Mentions: ‘Mongrel’ (directed: Chiang Wei Liang) and ‘Bad For A Moment’ (director: Daniel Soares)

Short Film Palme d’Or: ‘The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent’ (director: Nebojsa Slijepcevic)

–IANS

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Ammy Virk recalls how he gave his own car for two action sequence shoots in ‘Bad Newz’

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Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) Actor-singer Ammy Virk, who predominantly works in the Punjabi industry, and is now currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming film ‘Bad Newz’, has shared that his own car was used during an action sequence of the film.

Ammy Virk recently appeared on the latest episode of Bombay Journey with Bollywood star Vicky Kaushal, and said, “They needed a car to shoot a sequence in the film. They wanted to shoot an action sequence in Mussoorie. The unit wasn’t able to find an SUV at a reasonable rate.”

He further mentioned, “I asked them to take my car. The action team of the film looked at me and said, ‘are you sure we could take it’.”

Ammy then told them in jest, “You will only drive it, and not roll down the mountain, right?” At this point, Vicky and show host Siddharth Alambayan were in splits.

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Ammy then said, “I spoke with Taapsee Pannu, and she told me, ‘Are you crazy? I would have never given them my car’.”

Meanwhile, ‘Bad Newz’ which also stars ‘Animal’ star Triptii Dimri, is set to release in theatres on July 19.

–IANS

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'Panchayat’ actor Ashok Pathak speaks up about how problem of migration has always plagued Bihar

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Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) Actor Ashok Pathak, who essays the role of Binod in the fan-favourite streaming series ‘Panchayat’, has shared his opinion on the biggest problem plaguing the state of Bihar.

Ashok, who is originally from Darweshpure, Siwan in Bihar, migrated to Hissar in Haryana for work along with his family. The actor said that this phenomenon of migration is the biggest problem that Bihar faces.

The actor told ‘Digital Commentary’, “Bihar’s biggest problem has always been migration. Who would want to leave their home and go to a different place with a culture different from theirs! Nobody wants to live away from their parents and come back home once every 6 months or 1 year.”

He further mentioned: “Can you imagine the kind of pain and heartbreak that such people undergo? Living all alone away from the people who they love the most. I feel that a person should never be judged for where they come from and which state they belong to.”

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Meanwhile, Ashok’s film ‘Sister Midnight’, which also stars Radhika Apte, was screened under Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. After the screening, the film received a 10-minute standing ovation.

–IANS

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Selena Gomez, Benny Blanco reveal who said ‘I Love You’ first in couples' challenge video

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Los Angeles, July 13 (IANS) Singer-actress Selena Gomez and Benny Blanco have spilled beans on one of their most poignant moments together as a couple.

The couple revealed who said “I love you” first in a cute video as they took part in a ‘Who’s Most Likely To’ couple’s edition challenge on TikTok, reports ‘People’ magazine.

In the clip, Selena (31) sat cross-legged beside Blanco (36) as he lay next to her on a couch indoors as they spilled the beans on the special moment.

A voiceover asked, “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” before Gomez, smiling, pointed to herself as Blanco, with his arm wrapped around her, kissed her on the back of her shoulder.

Earlier on in the video, the voiceover began the challenge by asking, “Who is most likely to fall asleep during a movie?”

As per ‘People’, Selena raised her hand as Blanco also pointed to himself in response. “Who eats the most?” The pair were next asked as they both pointed to Blanco. “Who’s the first to apologise during an argument?” The voiceover continued, to which both Gomez and Blanco waved their hands in a mixed response. The next question asked was, “Who spends more money?” Gomez and Blanco both shrugged and shook their heads for their answer.

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“Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?” The voiceover next asked. The singer-actress pointed to Blanco while mouthing “you” at the camera as he stared up at her in apparent disagreement. The next question was, “Who snores the loudest?” to which Gomez and Blanco shook their heads.

“Who is more romantic?” the voiceover next asked as Blanco, smiling, pointed to himself while Gomez, also smiling, waved her hands in a mixed response. The voiceover then asked, “Who cleans the house?” Blanco pointed enthusiastically to himself in response as Gomez nodded in agreement.

–IANS

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Sunny Leone bats for smooth communications as the bedrock of every relationship

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Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) Actress Sunny Leone, who hosts the dating reality show ‘MTV Splitsvilla X5: ExSqueeze Me Please’, has shared the key factor that works across the spectrum of relationships.

During the latest episode of the show, Sunny said, “Relationships mein sabse important cheez kya hota hai? Communication”. It’s time for a ‘Baycation’ for our ideal matches.

After the showdown, Nayera and Digivijay ended up winning the ideal match. Later, Harsh revealed that his decision to dump Kashish was Addy’s brainchild. This left Kashish shocked and heartbroken. She broke down as Addy scrambled to defend himself, but everyone turned against him, causing him to lose his cool.

Kashish confronted Addy, and wrestled with conflicting stories, feeling unsure and questioning her judgement, during this moment Sunny stepped in.

After the three-way battle between the ideal matches, the defeated couples now battle for supremacy in the retreat of ‘Bay cation’. The boys went blindfolded while the girls took charge of solving the puzzle.

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During this fierce competition, alliances are put to the test and hidden truths rain down like confetti. Get ready for a day filled with challenges and heartening moments as the Splitsvillains tackle this task.

‘MTV Splitsvilla X5: ExSqueeze Me Please’ is available on MTV and JioCinema.

–IANS

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Zuber Khan claims his 'cute face, hot body work for me all the time on TV, films, web'

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Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) Actor Zuber K Khan, who was recently seen in the web series ‘Naag Vadhu – Ek Zehreeli Kahani’, shared that his good physique has garnered him many compliments for his role in the show.

Zuber is happy with the response he has received for the show.

The actor said he is like water and is able to adjust to any role that he gets.

Talking about the reviews, he said: “It’s fantabulous. Reviews have been made, and on YouTube, people are also praising the series. All reviewers have spoken quite well so far, so I’m happy that the series is working well on word of mouth.”

He further shared, “I fit into anything, as I’m like water. A cute face and a hot body are a rare combination to find, and that’s what works for me all the time, either on TV, in films, or now on the web.”

Zuber believes that it is very important for every actor to reinvent themselves with each new project.

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The actor added: “I work so hard in every role, and I try to do something different with every role. I do with the notes of leaving some part of Zuber in it, so I am always discovering myself, and that I think makes every actor grow.”

The show revolves around a woman who is said to be murdering young men who spend the night with her. It stars Subuhii Joshii as Abha and Poulomi Das as Sanvari.

The show is streaming on ALTT.

On the work front, Zuber made his debut in 2014 with the romantic film ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, featuring Armaan Jain and Deeksha Seth in the lead roles.

Zuber’s TV debut came with ‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?’. He has also appeared in episodic shows like ‘CID’, ‘Aahat’, ‘Fear Files’, and ‘Emotional Atyachar.’

–IANS

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