Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine as Light” sets partners for Petit Chaos

A year after she dazzled at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Golden Eye for Best Documentary for A Night of Knowing Nothing, Payal Kapadia’s feature debut All We Imagine as Light has attracted the strongest producing partners of all projects featured at this year’s Locarno Match Me!

“Night” Producers. Thomas Hakim of Petit Chaos, Julien Graff in France and Ranabir Das (also DP and editor of Night) at India’s Another Birth will produce Light.

Also on board is Oliver Pere from Arte France Cinéma, who was confirmed in early July. Other co-producers are Zico Maitra and Aastha Singh (Chalk & Cheese, India), Frank Hoeve (Baldr, Netherlands), Gilles Chanial (Les Films Fauves, Luxembourg) and newest partners Denise Lee and Roberto Minervini (Pulpa Films, Italy).

As a possible sign of a project being positively courted by producers, the multilateral support comes as no surprise. All We Imagine as Light comes in the wake of A Night of Knowing Nothing, a film in which “a palimpsest of somber imagery, thoughtful narrative and haunting score creates an achingly melancholic portrait of modern student protest,” Jessica Kiang wrote she diversity Review of a “dreamlike essay on the poetics of protest in Modi’s India”.

A Night of Knowing Nothing had its world premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2021 and was released this year in France, the US, UK, Portugal and Canada and has been shown around the world since its premiere last year.

“Light” and “Night” intertwine reality and the dreamlike. However, their focus is new. In it, Sister Prabha receives an unexpected gift from her estranged husband that turns her life upside down. Her younger roommate, Anu, tries in vain to find a place in town to get intimate with her boyfriend.

One day, the two nurses go on a road trip to a beach town, where the mystical forest becomes a place where their dreams manifest, the synopsis states.

“Storytelling was used in India as a means of transmission to calm the anxious heart of the listener. Here the two women become the characters of the story they would like to hear, and for that brief moment are freed from the world they belong to by a collective dream,” Kapadia said in a brief statement from the director.

“It is the juxtaposition of these states of being that can perhaps create a third understanding that is greater than the sum of its parts – hidden somewhere in the folds of memories, dreams and unspoken desires,” she added.

Lazy loaded image

Thomas Hakim
Courtesy of Thomas Hakim

Founded in 2018 by Hakim and Julien Graff, Petit Chaos’ is also in Locarno with Rwandan Samuel Ishimwe’s Ikimanuka, winner of the Berlin Silver Bear for the short film Imfura, and Pablo Dury’s Animals. This is a very cosmopolitan table.

“We are developing several feature films and will continue to produce short films and documentaries with directors from France and abroad,” said Hakim diversity. “Our core business model remains to be diversified and produce films for cinemas and festivals. I hope to be able to co-produce more films as a minority producer.”

The latter shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. Based in Tours, a rapidly expanding manufacturing hub, Petit Chaos can draw on not only federal but also regional funding. Companies can also apply to the CNC’s Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, which has supported at least six films that will be shown as closed titles in Locarno this year.

For my first feature film as a producer A night of not knowing by Payal Kapadia, I was pretty lucky,” Hakim said, referring to its worldwide theatrical release.

“But I know the market is tougher than before. Therefore, finding the right partner for each film is more important than ever,” he added. Locarno Pro’s Match Me!, a vibrant and still growing networking gathering, could well further that goal. Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine as Light” sets partners for Petit Chaos

Charles Jones

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