Sideshow, Janus Films Buy Payal Kapadia’s Cannes Competition Entry ‘All We Imagine as Light’ for North America (EXCLUSIVE)

Sideshow and Janus films (“Drive My Car”) have acquired all North American rights to Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine as Light,” the first Indian film to screen in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 30 years. The movie will world premiere on Thursday, May 23.

It’s also one of only four films in the Competition directed by a woman. Kapadia previously helmed the documentary “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” which premiered at Directors’ Fortnight and won the L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary in 2021.

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“All We Imagine as Light” stars Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam, Hridhu Haroon and Azees Nedumangad. Sideshow and Janus Films are planning a theatrical release.

In the last three years, Sideshow — along with its partner Janus Films — have had an impressive track record with their Cannes acquisitions, starting with Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car,” which went on to become the most Oscar-nominated Japanese film of all time, scoring four nods and winning best international feature. Sideshow and Janus films also bought Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Cannes Jury Prize winner “EO” and Shaunak Sen’s documentary “All That Breathes,” both of which earned Oscar nominations.

The deal was negotiated by Sideshow and Janus Films with Luxbox on behalf of the filmmakers. The producers of the film are Thomas Hakim and Julien Graff. It is a production of France’s Petit Chaos with co-producers including India’s Chalk & Cheese, France’s Arte France Cinéma, the Netherlands’ Baldr Film, India’s Another Birth, Luxembourg’s Les Films Fauves and Italy’s Pulpa Film.

“The 2024 Cannes Film Festival will be remembered for confirming Payal Kapadia as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the world today,” said Sideshow and Janus Films. “We were deeply moved by her portrait of two women negotiating their careers and love affairs in modern day Mumbai.”

The banners pointed out the “skill and craft with which she brings her vision to screen is breathtaking and unforgettable, and we are very excited to work with her and the team at Luxbox to bring this film to North American audiences.”

Set in Mumbai, the film tells the story of Nurse Prabha whose “routine is troubled when she receives an unexpected gift from her estranged husband. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a spot in the city to be intimate with her boyfriend. A trip to a beach town allows them to find a space for their desires to manifest,” reads the synopsis.

The company’s current roster includes Hamaguchi’s Venice’s Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize winner, “Evil Does Not Exist,” in release along with Bertrand Bonello’s “The Beast.”

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