FTII Pune’s Chidananda Naik and team shine at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

The under aegis of the Cannes Film Festival, Le Cinef has once again spread its horizons hunting new and upcoming talents across the whole wide world, it has chosen 18 shorts amidst 2263 submissions made globally.
FTII Pune’s Chidananda Naik and team shine at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.
FTII Pune’s Chidananda Naik and team shine at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. Image Credit: The Bridge Chronicle

The film is amongst the 18 shorts; 14 live-action and 4 short films selected from the 2263 submitted by film schools all over the world. "Sunflowers are the first ones to know." The 16 minute long film ks about an old lady who steals a rooster and the sun neve rises in a village again. It is a film starring Vasudha Bharigath, Kushal BK, Sanju Chauhan. It is the only Indian film selected for the Festival.

Link to the other nominations;


77th Cannes Film FestivalWhat is Cinéfondation?


La Cinéfondation is a foundation under the aegis of the Cannes Film Festival, created to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. It was created in 1998 by Gilles Jacob. Since then it has developed complementary programmes to help achieve its goal. Today it is divided into three different parts: The Selection; The Residence; The Atelier.

Chidananda S, the writer and the director of the selected piece joined FTII for its one year TV program after completing MBBS from the Mysore Medical College.

The jury will present the La Cinef awards on 23rd May 2024 at the Bunuel Theatre.

Pursuing his passion Chidananda joined the FTII after completing MBBS from the Mysore Medical College for a year's course. Dr Chidananada S Naik directed the Sunflowers are the first to know as part of FTII's year end exercise of TV, the short film runs for 16 minutes. The masterpice is directed by Naik, the director's team is flourishingly consisting of a talented bunch; Suraj Thakur on camera, Editing handled by Manoj V, and sound by Abhishek Kadam. The movie is shot entirely at night, th film strongly evokes a mysterious ambiance, one could relate the film closely with magic realism, Naik says he draws inspiration from a folk tale. The plot breaks free from the conditional method of writing paving a fresh path interesting capturing the audience's glare.

A clip from the Sunflowers were the first ones to know
A clip from the Sunflowers were the first ones to know

Chidananda S exclusively spoke with Anupama Chopra, the writer-director said he wanted to tell his story which was founded on a Karnataka folklore. He had wanted to make this film from a very long time, he remembers himself as a kid who wanted to tell everyone about it. Chidananda opened up to his friends and they all brainstormed at FTII and a few of them came together to create the masterpiece that it is. He also expresses the importance of Pre-production, the story behind why he chose the title and how he expects the movie to be received globally.

Chidananda at Cannes
Chidananda at CannesFilm Companion

The film is just in four days along 50 kilometres of the campus, said the creator. The story of the rooster might be new to the world but every kid of the Karnataka is well versed with the folktale and it was very close to my heart as a child, said the writer-director.

I am happy that my team and I have received the opportunity to represent India at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

said Chidananda S Naik to the Film Companion.

The title which sounds very interesting - "Sunflowers are the first ones to know", Chidananda said that the title was the first thing that he had written down, as the sunflowers are shaped the direction of the light which smoothly blends with the mood and tone of the story.

"sunflowers were the first one to know"
"sunflowers were the first one to know"ABP Live

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