5 films by Payal Kapadia, the Cannes Grand Prix Jury winner, to add to your watch-list

Vruddhi Bagadia
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Payal Kapadia

Payal Kapadia, who made India proud at the Cannes Film Festival recently, has a vast filmography that you might not know about and we've curated a list of her work that you simply shouldn't miss out on!

Payal Kapadia, who competed at Cannes this year, created history by winning the ‘Grand Prix Jury Award’ for her film ‘All We Imagine As Light’. This film is a love letter to the city in which Kapadia grew up, as well as to the working women whose ability to discover themselves in Mumbai has contributed significantly to its reputation as a city of dreams. She is an Indian filmmaker known for her unique cinematic voice and experimental approach to storytelling. As we look back at her films, the stylistic mark she uses from traditional forms of theater and storytelling make her work rather fascinating.

Also Read;India was busy creating history at the 77th Cannes Film Festival

Here are some of her notable works you can catch on MUBI!

The Last Mango Before the Monsoon

This film depicts the peaceful anticipation of the monsoon season in rural India. It uses a blend of a documentary and experimental approach to capture the natural rhythms and peaceful moments that arise in the transforming rains, bringing out the essence of nature's cycles.

In the Afternoon Clouds

This was the only Indian film to enter the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. It centers around an imaginary flower that blossoms through the whole year. It shows Kaki and her Nepali housekeeper, Malti through their daily rituals with little speech. An unexpected guest disrupts their environment resulting in a passionate experience outside where words carry unsaid history. Between everyday duties and short meetings, the film brilliantly tackles the weight of silence and the variety of human connection.

And What is the Summer Saying

This film captures the rural landscapes of Maharashtra. This beautiful documentary follows rich visuals and ambient sounds to portray the spirit of summer, merging memory and life. The artwork of And What is the Summer Saying delivers an emotional reaction that explores the brief lifespan of time and the constant presence of places.

A Night of Knowing Nothing

Yet another masterpiece, this one is a moving documentary that mixes personal letters and historical material to describe the experiences of an Indian film student in the middle of a political crisis. The plot weaves a love story against the backdrop of student events and societal concerns. A Night of Knowing Nothing received the 'Golden Eye for Best Documentary' at Cannes in 2021.

Watermelon, Fish, and Half Ghost

This one is an appealing folk tale set in ancient Bombay that explores societal dynamics and lost loves via surrealism and metaphors. Watermelon, Fish, and Half Ghost's glory is in its ability to bring together the residents of the chawl while exploring concepts of limitless duration and life cycles. In its short runtime, it manages to leave a lasting impression on you as a viewer.


Payal Kapadia's win at Cannes not only signified a victory but also created a new era in Indian film, illustrating the country's talent on a global level. Her filmography is more than a source of pride; it acts as a spark for visualising a future in which Indian films continually challenge barriers and get international recognition.

Have you watched any of these films? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cannes Film Festival A Night of Knowing Nothing Payal Kapadia All We Imagine As Light and half ghost The last mango before the monsoon And what is the summer saying In afternoon clouds