FTII praises Payal Kapadia for Cannes win; Ali Fazal, Resul Pookutty react against it

After the director bagged the prize at Cannes, her alma mater took to X (Twitter) and wrote a congratulatory message, which Ali Fazal reposted later with a sarcastic comment.
Director Payal Kapadia who recently won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival this year (L); her alma mater Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)
Director Payal Kapadia who recently won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival this year (L); her alma mater Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)

Director Payal Kapadia recently won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The filmmaker has been receiving applause from various directors and actors, however, a congratulatory message from her alma mater Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) didn’t sit well with actor Ali Fazal and sound designer Resul Pookutty.

In 2015, the institute had taken disciplinary action against Payal for protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII president. Pune Police also filed a chargesheet against her and 34 other students for holding then-FTII director Prashant Pathrabe captive. She, along with other students, were denied scholarships and later arrested.

Now, after the director bagged the prize at Cannes, FTII, via its official handle, posted on X, “It is a moment of pride for FTII as its Alumni create history at Cannes. As we witness a phenomenal year for Indian Cinema at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, FTII cherishes the glorious achievements of its Alumni at this Mega International Stage of Cinema (sic).”

In another post, it wrote, “We congratulate Payal Kapadia for winning the Grand Prix Award, Santosh Sivan for receiving the Pierre Angénieux Tribute Award, Maisam Ali for his debut at ACID & Chidanand S Naik for winning La Cinef. Their achievements are taking Indian Cinema to greater heights #cannesfilmawards.”

Ali Fazal reposted the tweet later with a sarcastic comment, “Uhhh… please don’t. Just don’t (sic).”

Oscar-winning sound designer Pokutty took to Facebook and wrote, “While you celebrate Payal Kapadia and her team’s win at the Cannes, give it a moment of thought, the mainstream Indian Film Industry has nothing to do with this glory, they only looked at us as outcasts. The only reason they won is also not because we had inspiring teachers, there were some but not all…

There are many more Payals and Chidanands, Sathosh Sivans and Shaji Karuns are going to come out. Inspire them, let them show us a mirror that reflect us as a true society where original, logical and scientific temperament is celebrated.

Let us create Sovereign minds, that will be a true celebration of cinema and life. Footnote: Payal (Accused No.25) comes back from Cannes and next month goes for her court case hearing that FTII lodged against her for striking against the appointment of Mr.Chouhan as the Chairman! Interesting isn’t it?!”

(This story originally appeared on Cinema Express)

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