BFI Distribution acquires Cannes Grand Prix-winning hit All We Imagine as Light for UK and Ireland theatrical release

Receiving huge acclaim after its first screening, Payal Kapadia’s film is the first Indian feature to be selected in Official Competition at Cannes for three decades.

All We Imagine as Light (2024)

BFI Distribution is excited to announce the acquisition, from sales agent Luxbox, of the beautiful Indian film All We Imagine as Light, directed by Payal Kapadia, for UK and Ireland theatrical release. The film has received huge critical acclaim after its screening in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival and won the festival’s Grand Prix.

With a cast and crew that is 99% Indian, and featuring Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam and Hridhu Haroon in the lead roles, All We Imagine As Light is the first Indian film to be selected in Official Competition at Cannes in three decades. Director Payal Kapadia also makes history as the first female Indian filmmaker ever to have a film in this prestigious section of the festival.

The story is set in Mumbai, where Nurse Prabha’s 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.

Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai based filmmaker who studied film direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. Her short films, Afternoon Clouds and And What Is the Summer Saying, premiered at the Cinéfondation and the Berlinale respectively. Her first feature film, A Night of Knowing Nothing (2021) premiered at the 2021 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, where it won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize.

All We Imagine as Light is a France-India-The Netherlands-Luxembourg co-production. The producers are Thomas Hakim and Julien Graff of Petit Chaos in Paris, and Zico Maitra of Chalk & Cheese Films in Mumbai. Additional partners are Arte France Cinéma, Baldr Film (Netherlands), Another Birth (India), Les Films Fauves (Luxembourg) and Pulpa Film (Italy). European development funds, including Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals grant and the Cannes Cinéfondation Residency, enabled Kapadia to reside in Europe and develop the film with her French producers, before beginning production in her native India.

The UK and Ireland deal was negotiated between Laura Dos Santos, BFI Distribution Acquisitions Manager, and Jennyfer Gautier, Head of International Sales at Luxbox.

“Payal Kapadia demonstrates an impressive command of the art of filmmaking and an extraordinary ability to convey profound emotion,” says Dos Santos. “We came out of the first screening dizzy, with the rare certainty that we had just seen an instant classic. We strongly believe that the film’s uniqueness will beguile wide audiences in the UK and Ireland.”

BFI Distribution’s upcoming UK and Ireland releases include the French film Àma Gloria and UK films Sky Peals and Starve Acre.