Meet Kolkata-based cinematographer Modhura Palit who is making waves in the industry by becoming the first Indian to receive Angenieux Encouragement Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. Though Indian films didn’t do much at this year’s festival, the 28-year-old Palit received the prestigious award that was introduced in 2018 at The Pierre Angenieux ExcelLens in Cinematography ceremony at the Festival de Cannes. The award is conferred to young and upcoming film school graduates.
After receiving the award, an elated Modhura said, “It feels wonderful. I’m truly humbled by the honour. It’s a huge thing for me. It’s amazing that an institution is doing something like this to propagate and promote new talent on the global platform. It’s truly brilliant,” Asianage.com reported.
Modhura Palit is the recipient of the Angenieux encouragement award, making her the first Indian — and first Indian woman — to be recognised in this category.
“I really don’t know why was I chosen for this award. I had asked them (the jury) as well. They said that ‘we loved your work and what you are trying to do.’” Modhura recollected. “They felt that I have a certain temper, an angst that they wanted the world to know. I found it as a very interesting perspective,” she added.
Modhura is an alumna of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, and Asian Film Academy (AFA). She has three feature films and numerous short films, documentaries, and ad films in different languages to show as credentials. A member of Eastern Indian Cinematographers Association (EICA), Modhura’s film Paper Boy was shot in black and white and The Girl Across The Stream was a part of the 2015 Looking China Youth Film Project. She has also made a 15-minute-long Korean film, titled Meet Sohee, in collaboration with the AFA fellows.
She has worked on one of India’s first virtual reality films. Talking about the Cannes recognition, she claimed, “It feels quite unreal, to be honest. It is very difficult for me to fathom the weight of this. It feels like a pat on the back at the end of a good shot. Of all the hardships I’ve faced and taboos I’ve broken, this award gives me a sense of validation. As if all this struggle was worth it,” Firstpost reported.
“It’s always a new challenge and new obstacle to overcome. Everyone across all religion, language and boundaries work together in the language of cinema itself. Once you understand the aesthetic of films then there is no problem,” explains the artist.
On asking if she has plans to work in Bollywood films, the cinematographer said, “If any opportunity comes, obviously I’ll take it. We all want to do better and more budgeted work.”
“The basic concept is cinematographers should be brawny men tossing the camera up and down like a football. The idea that cinematography is a ‘manly’ job is a problem. Breaking it is still an uphill task,” she expressed.
Feature Image Credit: asianage.com