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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Cannes 2024: Anasuya Sengupta Secures Top Acting Award, First Indian to Achieve Feat

One of the major stars of the Hindi-language film The Shameless, directed by Konstantin Bojanov from Bulgaria, Anasuya Sengupta, made history by winning the Best Actress prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. Sengupta, a native of Kolkata, is the first Indian performer to receive the top acting award in the category, which is a major first for India at the esteemed film festival. The last day of the festival is Saturday, May 25. Sengupta dedicated the prize in her acceptance speech on Friday night to the queer community and other marginalized populations for their courageous fight for rights around the world.

The actor stated, “We just need to be very, very decent human beings. You don’t have to be queer to fight for equality, and you don’t have to be colonized to know that colonizing is pathetic.”

The Shameless is a film that debuted at Cannes on May 17 and tells the story of a disturbing world of exploitation and suffering where two sex workers, one with scars from her job and the other a young girl just days away from ritual initiation—form a bond and try to break free from their bounds.

In significant roles on The Shameless are Mita Vashisht, Tanmay Dhanania, Rohit Kokate, and Auroshikha Dey. Although Santosh, a film by British-Indian director Sandhya Suri, was included in Un Certain Regard, no prizes were given out.

Regarding the valued honour

Running concurrently with the main competition of the festival is The Un Certain Regard, which seeks to showcase emerging styles, narratives, and cinematic nations. Chinese director Gou Zhen’s Black Dog won the top prize in the section, and French filmmaker Boris Lojkine’s L’Histoire de Souleymane took home the Jury Prize.

For his first feature film “Norah,” Saudi Arabia’s Tawfik Alzaidi was given a Special Mention, while Louise Courvoisier won the Youth Award for her first film “Holy Cow.”

Filmmaker Xavier Dolan from Canada chaired the Un Certain Regard jury, which also comprised American writer Todd McCarthy, Moroccan director Asmae El Moudir, French-Senegalese director Maïmouna Doucoure, German-Luxembourg actor Vicky Krieps, and Moroccan filmmakers.

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