Indian Cannes

1. Anasuya Sengupta creates history at Cannes as the first Indian Best Actress in Un Certain Regard.
2. Awarded for her performance in “Shameless,” directed by Constantin Bojanov.
3. Her win marks a significant moment for Indian cinema on the global stage.

Entertainment, May 25: Anasuya Sengupta has made history by becoming the first Indian to win the Best Actress award in the Un Certain Regard segment at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

She earned this accolade for her compelling performance in the film “Shameless,” directed by Bulgarian filmmaker Constantin Bojanov. The film tells the harrowing story of a sex worker who escapes from a brothel in Delhi after stabbing a policeman.

In her acceptance speech, Anasuya dedicated her award to the queer community and other marginalized groups worldwide, acknowledging their relentless fight for rights and equality.

She emphasized the importance of solidarity, stating, “You don’t have to be queer to fight for equality, you don’t have to be colonized to understand that colonizing is pathetic — we just need to be very, very decent human beings.”

Celebrations poured in from all quarters, with fellow actor Tillotama Shome expressing her joy on Instagram. Shome wrote, “Just beautiful!!!!!!!!! Making history. Putting us on the map!!! Unfortunately, I don’t have my glasses and can’t seem to figure out how to share this! But I can’t even begin to describe the JOY!!!! Kisses to Anasuya for me please (sic).”

Anasuya Sengupta is primarily known for her work as a production designer in Mumbai and currently resides in Goa. She has contributed to the set design of the popular Netflix show “Masaba Masaba.”

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Originally from Kolkata, she pursued her education at Jadavpur University. Her acting debut was in Anjan Dutt’s Bengali rock musical “Madly Bangalee” in 2009.

Following her move to Mumbai, she struggled to find acting roles and thus shifted her focus to the art department in films.

The Cannes Un Certain Regard segment also saw other noteworthy winners. The Un Certain Regard Prize went to “Black Dog,” directed by Chinese filmmaker Hu Guan.

The Jury Prize was awarded to “The Story of Souleymane,” a poignant narrative about asylum seekers directed by Boris Lojkine.

Here is the complete list of winners in the Un Certain Regard segment:

  • Prix Un Certain Regard: “Black Dog” by Guan Hu
  • Jury Prize: “The Story of Souleymane” by Boris Lojkine
  • Best Director (ex aequo): “The Damned” by Roberto Minervini and “On Becoming a Guinea Fowl” by Rungano Nyoni
  • Performance Awards: Anasuya Sengupta for “Shameless” and Abou Sangare for “The Story of Souleymane”
  • Prix de la Jeunesse (Youth Prize): “Holy Cow! (Vingt Dieux)” by Louise Courvoisier
  • Special Mention: “Norah” by Tawfik Alzaidi

Anasuya’s victory at Cannes is not just a personal triumph but also a significant moment for Indian cinema, highlighting the global recognition of Indian talent in the film industry.

Her achievement underscores the importance of diverse stories and voices in cinema, paving the way for future generations of actors and filmmakers from India.