Tillotama Shome highlights the tough journey of indie filmmakers like Payal Kapadia

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) After Shweta Dhanwanthary spoke up about the travails of indie filmmakers who find it so hard to sell their storyboards in India, OTT star Tillotama Shome took to Instagram with a heartfelt post to amplify the point.

Both posts, which are essentially critiques of the celebrity culture that drives story selection in mainstream Indian cinema, are in response to Payal Kapadia winning the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday night.

It was the highest international award an Indian filmmaker has received at a global event after the honorary Oscar for Satyajit Ray in 1992. And yet Kapadia ‘All We Imagine As Light’ was able to see the light of day because of support from international producers Thomas Hakim and Julien Graff, and funding from a whole host of European agencies — Arte, Cineworld, CNC, Condor, Eurimages, Gan Foundation, Hubert Bals Fund, Luxbox, Pulpa Film and Visions Sud Est.

In a long post, Shome said: “I wanted to put some flowers out today to celebrate the women from my country at Cannes. How did they get there? Ask them and you will weep.”

She then made the point that seems to be on top of the mind of many in the film industry. “It’s nothing short of a miracle for an Indian indie film with no institutional, financial or emotional support from the country, to make it this big,” Shome said.

Speaking like an artiste feeling for others of her ilk, she asked: “How were the films funded, how difficult was it to complete the film in that budget, and oh, how did the actors put together the money to fly to Cannes, so they could bring home the prize, that we are so proud of?”

Shome concludes with these heartfelt words: “Let us put some skin into this game if we are feeling so proud. Otherwise it’s not pride, but just shame for not believing in your own storytellers, until the world asks you to look at them.”

On Saturday night, as soon as the news of Kapadia’s win came out, Dhanwanthary took to X to make the same point. As already reported by IANS, ‘The Family Man’ star concluded her post with a telling line: “They succeeded despite the industry’s typical standards of success and non-existent encouragement.”



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