Chidanand won La Cinéfe Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival

Chidanand Naik, Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know, Cannes Film Festival,

Recently, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) student Chidanand Naik film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” has been awarded the ‘Cannes La Cinéfe’ Award for the Best Short Film at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France.

The winner was officially announced at the festival on May 23, 2024 where student director Mr. Chidanand Naik received the award.

About The First Ones to Know on Sunflowers

  • “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” is the story of an old woman who steals the village rooster, causing unrest in the community. To bring the rooster back, a prophecy is pronounced, sending the old woman’s family into exile.
  • The film “Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know” is a short film made by four students of the one-year program of FTII’s TV wing working together for a project in different disciplines i.e. direction, electronic cinematography, editing, sound.
  • The film is directed by Chidanand S Naik, cinematography by Suraj Thakur, editing by Manoj V and sound by Abhishek Kadam.
  • These students worked on the film as part of their final year combined practice and have graduated from FTII in 2023.


  • Another film by FTII students ‘CatDog’ won an award at the 73rd Cannes.
  • The 77th Cannes Film Festival saw several entries from India in various categories.
  • Several FTII alumni like Payal Kapadia, Maisam Ali, Santosh Sivan, Chidanand Naik and their team were recognised at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Achievement of Chidanand Naik

  • This is the first time that a film by a student of FTII’s 1-year Television course has been selected at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
  • Before joining FTII in the year 2022, Chidanand Naik was also selected as one of the 75 Creative Minds at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), an initiative of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to recognise and support emerging young artists in the field of cinema.

About La Cinéfaye Awards

  • ‘La Cinéfe’ is an official section of the Cannes Film Festival.
  • It aims to encourage new talent and recognise films from film schools around the world.
  • This year a total of 2,263 films were selected from 555 film schools around the world and 18 short films (14 live-action and 4 animated) were selected for the final round.

About Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)

  • Established: Year 1960
  • FTII is registered as an autonomous society under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • It offers courses in various disciplines of filmmaking and television.
  • Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra


Name the FTII student who won La Cinéfe Award at the 77th Cannes Film Festival?

Chidanand Naik

Click here to read this article in Hindi.

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