‘I get overwhelmed in crowds’: Kani Kusruti on Cannes selection for ‘All We Imagine as Light’


Kani Kushruti was in bad weather and preparing for another work trip to Kerala when this news broke. His upcoming film is with Payal Kapadia We imagine everything as light, was selected in competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival. This is the first time in 30 years that an Indian film will compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or.

The slate includes Francis Ford Coppola's great picks metropolisYorgos Lanthimos' types of kindnessAndrea Arnold's Birdjia zhang-ke caught by the tide among others. American filmmaker Greta Gerwig is presiding over the main jury for the 77th Cannes Film Festival, to be held on the French Riviera from May 14 to 25.

Another Indian movie, SatisfactionUn Certain Regard, written by British-Indian director Sandhya Suri, will compete in Sidebar.

“I was at my home in Goa, where I currently live, when the messages started coming in,” says Kani. “I was busy packing for a shoot in Kerala, and was a little tired and sick, Otherwise I would have replied to every message.”

we all imagineThe selection of … is a big opportunity for Indian cinema. In recent years, the country's profile and visibility in Cannes have increased. Yet, despite films like Masan And all that breathes Despite bringing home the top honours, we have rarely been able to achieve the glory of the main competition. The only Indian film to win the Palme d'Or – then known as the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film – is Chetan Anand's low town (1946) Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen's films were aptly named, including Sen's 1982 domestic servant drama dismissed Winning the Jury Prize. In 1994, Malayalam director Shaji N Karun's rural classic film Swaham It was the last film from India to compete for the Palme d'Or.

Coincidentally, we all imagine As Light is the story of two nurses from Kerala working in Mumbai and its two leaders, Kani and ariyaippu Actress Divya Prabha is a Malayali. Overall, it has been an exciting few weeks for film fans in Kerala, with news from Cannes and the movies. Manjummel Boys, Aadujeevitham And passion widespread rupture.

Kani Kushruti

Kani Kushruti

“I think the more regional the treatment of a film, the more international it speaks,” says Kani, who remembers watching it. Swaham In the theater as a child. “My parents were serious film lovers and they took me to its screening. Years later, I worked with Shaji sir ooloo (2018).”

In We imagine everything as light, Kani plays the role of Prabha, a head nurse in a hospital in Mumbai. She lives with another nurse, Anu, who is younger. Prabha is separated from her husband, while Anu is looking for privacy in the big city with her boyfriend. The plot reads, “One day, two nurses go on a road trip to a seaside town, where the mysterious forest becomes the setting for their dreams to manifest.” Marathi actor Chhaya Kadam plays an important role in the film.

Kapadia's previous feature, Documentary a night of not knowing anything (2021), won the Golden Eye at Cannes. Before, his student was small, afternoon clouds (2017), about the shared vulnerabilities and complex inner worlds of two women in one house, was also selected in the Cinefondation category at the festival.

Kani says that Kapadia initially approached her to play the role of a young nurse. But the project took several years to get off the ground and she had to play the role of Prabha.

“Prabha is not the person I relate to,” says Kani. “She is someone who carries a lot of burden because of societal expectations. Although she has gained financial freedom, her conscience is torn between her desires and what others want from her.'' She adds that aspects of the character were taken from a real person. “Payal told me that she had met someone – a nurse – who raised some questions in her mind and inspired her to write this film. We also conducted workshops with working nurses to understand their lives.”

Kani Kushruti

Kani Kushruti

first part of We imagine everything as light It was shot during the monsoons in Mumbai last year. The cast and crew camped in a non-functioning hospital in Dahisar in the northern suburbs. “We were shooting in really crowded locations with sync sound. “We couldn’t turn on the fan or open the window.” The second, more liberated half of the film was shot in Ratnagiri, a port city on the Konkan coast. “It was hot and dry but very quiet.”

Kani is a rockstar on the Indian indie circuit. his 2020 malayalam movie biryani Won lots of awards; Recently his film girls will be girls Premiere at Sundance. Her streaming career is equally impressive; This year alone, he has starred in high-profile shows like Killer Soup, the Poacher and the Queen Season 3, So it's surprising when she admits that, when circumstances were favorable, she would avoid attending jazzy festival premieres or red carpets. “I blend in easily in a crowd,” she says, laughing. “It's just my personality… I'm not very social.”

However, will she attend Cannes? “I am shooting those days. If it's possible I'll go. I think it's a huge deal, India competing in Cannes and other competitions. But more than anything, I would like to see this film with the entire cast and crew working on it. The joy of creating something special together is still alive.”

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