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FTII Student Film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” Selected for Cannes Film Festival

A student film from India’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has been selected for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know,” directed by Chidanand Naik, will compete in the La Cinef section, a program dedicated to showcasing new talent from film schools worldwide.

Standing Out Among International Competition

The film is one of only 18 shorts (14 live-action and 4 animated) chosen from a massive pool of 2,263 entries submitted by film schools around the globe. Notably, “Sunflowers” is the sole Indian representative in the La Cinef category, making this selection a significant achievement for both Naik and FTII.

A Story of Unforeseen Consequences

“Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” tells the story of an elderly woman who disrupts village life by stealing the rooster. This seemingly minor act sets off a chain reaction, with a prophecy leading to the exile of the woman’s family.

A Testament to FTII’s Approach

This selection marks a first for FTII’s one-year Television course, highlighting the program’s success in nurturing young talent. FTII’s emphasis on practical, collaborative learning has consistently yielded award-winning films by students and alumni at national and international film festivals.

Collaboration at its Core

“Sunflowers” exemplifies FTII’s collaborative spirit. The film is a product of the TV Wing One-year program, where students from diverse disciplines – direction, cinematography, editing, and sound – come together to create a unified project as their year-end exercise. The team behind the film includes director Chidananda S Naik, cinematographer Suraj Thakur, editor Manoj V, and sound designer Abhishek Kadam.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 15th to 24th, 2024. The La Cinef jury will present awards to the winning films during a ceremony preceding their screening on May 23rd at the Buñuel Theatre.

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