Cannes 2024: Indian short films ‘Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know’ and ‘Bunnyhood’ win the top and third prize at La Cinef

The La Cinef jury, led by renowned actress Lubna Azabal, meticulously evaluated all entries
Posters for the films
Posters for the films

The prestigious Cannes Film Festival witnessed a double triumph for Indian cinema this year, with both Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know and Bunnyhood receiving accolades in the La Cinef category for Best Short Film.

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Chidananda S Naik’s Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know emerged victorious, claiming the top prize of €15,000. This 16-minute film, created by the India's Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) student, tells the captivating tale of a village plunged into turmoil after an elderly woman steals a prized rooster. The prophecy invoked to retrieve the bird results in exile for the woman’s family, leaving viewers pondering the consequences of her actions. Naik’s film emerged from a competitive pool of 18 entries, all crafted by film students from around the world.

India’s cinematic success extended beyond Naik’s achievement. Mansi Maheshwari, an Indian filmmaker born in Meerut, secured third place with her short film Bunnyhood. This project, created as part of Maheshwari’s graduation project at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in London, showcases the talent nurtured by Indian filmmakers on a global stage. 

The second prize was shared by Our The Window Through The Wall from Columbia University and The Chaos She Left Behind from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

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The La Cinef jury, led by renowned actress Lubna Azabal, meticulously evaluated all entries. The award ceremony, held on May 23 at the Bunuel Theatre, celebrated the winning films, which were subsequently screened for the audience. For those who missed the initial screening, a second chance awaits. The award-winning films will be showcased again on June 3 at the Cinéma du Panthéon and June 4 at the MK2 Quai de Seine.

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