“All I Want”, an Indian film directed by Venika Mitra, has won at Beyond Borders Diversity of Cannes Short Film Showcase — an event independent of the ongoing 70th Cannes Film Festival here. The filmmaker is happy.
“I am very surprised to know that out of the entire bunch of wonderful films, my film was declared the winner of the festival. I was shocked and checked my award on stage twice before accepting it,” Mitra told IANS in an email.
“Personally I feel there were much better films than my film. I was rooting for those films. It’s a great feeling to be a winner and to have your work liked by so many people. I hope that I live up to these expectations in my next project as well. I’m deeply grateful to all my crowd funders of the film,” she added,
Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, who has worked on the film’s sound, tweeted: “Venika Mitra’s short film ‘All I Want’ wins two awards at Cannes. In Diversity of Cannes Short Film showcase, first Indian film to receive this honour.”
The fest saw 231 entries from 30 countries across six continents participating. Out of these, only six films were selected in General Showcase category. It included projects from India, Greece, China, Canada and the US, and aimed at celebrating the work of talented filmmakers who give life to globally diverse characters, with stories that transcend boundaries.
The story of “All I Want” talks about a purposeful, single minded and unwavering pursuit of a street urchin Ratan to buy one mango.
Asked about what urged her to make this film, Mitra said: “My motivation for this story is my love for mangoes.”
“One day I gave some money to my bai (maid) in Mumbai to buy something for her daughters. She asked me if I could buy her mangoes instead of giving her that money. I was surprised. Mangoes I thought were in abundance in Mumbai and very cheap. She said mangoes might be cheap for me, but not for her.
“That made me realize that something as small as a mango that is in abundance for me is still a struggle for my bai. This is how I wrote the story of one boy’s journey to buy only one mango, his struggle to get money for it and if at all he manages to get that mango and his motivation behind this struggle.”