Anasuya Sengupta has become the first Indian to win the top acting award at a film festival

Anasuya Sengupta photographed at Cannes. (Image courtesy: AFP)


Anasuya Sengupta became the first Indian to win the top actress award at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday night. The little-known actress, who mainly works as a production designer in Mumbai and lives in Goa, bagged the best actress award in the Un Certain Regard segment of the festival. Anasuya Sengupta won the award for her powerful performance in Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov’s film, shameless, which also features well-known actress Meeta Vasistha in its star cast. The film has been shot in India and Nepal for over a month and a half.

Bojanov is a Facebook friend of award-winning director Anasuya. He surprised her one day when he asked her to send him an audition tape. That was the beginning of the Jadavpur University graduate’s acting career.

The Kolkata-born debutante’s previous credits include production designer for Srijit Mukherjee. don’t forget me Netflix’s 2021 Satyajit Ray anthology and Masaba Masabashe plays Renuka, a vagabond who takes refuge in a community of North Indian sex workers after fleeing Delhi after being accused of murder.

The film’s story centers around Renuka’s illicit love affair with a teenage girl named Devika, played by Omara Shetty, who is initially sheltered from entering sex work due to her physical ailments, but not for long.

Receiving the award, a “trembling” Anasuya dedicated her to “queer communities and other marginalized communities for fighting so bravely that they really shouldn’t have to”.

Her voice shaking with emotion, and to frequent cheers and applause, she concluded her short acceptance speech by saying, “We don’t have to live in the colonies to know how miserable the colonizers are.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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