An Indian filmmaker, Achyutanand Dwivedi, made amends for his nation’s disappointing no-show in the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.
His three-minute film, Seed Mother, won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents 2019 in Cannes on Friday night.
Held annually as part of the Cannes Critics’ Week to encourage new perspectives in filmmaking, Nespresso Talents is now in its fourth year. It is a contest limited to films shot in a vertical 9/16 video format.
This year’s theme was We Are What We Eat, aimed at exploring the world, experiencing diversity, and sharing experiences and knowledge through food. It received 371 videos from 47 countries in three broad categories: Farming and Biodiversity, Food Heritage and the Value Chain and Food in Popular Cultures.
Seed Mother celebrates the exceptional spirit of Rahibai Soma Popere, a woman who champions the use of local seeds and traditional methods of farming in villages of Maharashtra.
The Nespresso 2019 first prize in the international section was won by New Zealand’s Josh Morrice for Subak, about rice cultivation in Bali, while the second prize went to Mexican filmmaker Marco Aurelio Celis’ Ruffo.
Dwivedi, born and raised in Mumbai, now lives in Pondicherry. “I realised that the pace of life in Mumbai was killing me,” he says.
He discovered the work of Rahibai Soma Popere when he went looking for good seeds for his kitchen garden, a central part of a sustainable model of living that he is developing for himself and his friends.
Even as a cameraman, Dwivedi, who shoots commercials, favours employing vintage lenses. “I shot Seed Mother with a mirror lens, which helped the quality of the images,” he says.
In 2016, he won a prize sponsored by Getty Images during the Cannes Lions for the 90-second film Internal Fight, about the struggles of Mumbai-based mixed martial arts fighter Farhan Siddiqui.
“I see myself doing experiential documentaries to express myself through interesting themes and subjects,” Dwivedi says.