Ali Fazal Lashes Out At FTII For Celebrating Payal Kapadia’s Grand Prix Win At Cannes: ‘Just Don’t’

Actor Ali Fazal finds it impossible to keep his mouth shut. He has criticised the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune for being hypocritical in commemorating its former student Payal Kapadia’s historic Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix victory.

Ali threw shade at FTII

The official X handle of FTII on Sunday shared a couple of pictures from the Cannes Film Festival, of its alumni members Payal and Chidanand Naik (who won the La Cinef Award for Best Short for her film Sunflowers Were The First Ones To Know).

The caption stated, “It is a moment of pride for FTII as its Alumni create history at Cannes. As we witness a phenomenal year for Indian Cinema at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, FTII cherishes the glorious achievements of its Alumni at this Mega International Stage of Cinema.”

However, Ali Fazal reposted FTII’s message with the caption, “Uhhh… please don’t. Just don’t.”

What is the matter?

Payal faced disciplinary action in 2015 after organising a student demonstration against the election of actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan to the FTII presidency. They argued that he didn’t have the credibility to head a premier institution like FTII.

Pune Police also filed a chargesheet against 35 students, including Payal, for allegedly kidnapping Prashant Pathrabe, the then-director of FTII, in his office following his choice to evaluate unfinished projects submitted by students from the 2008 batch. Scholarships were also denied to Payal and other students. But a few years later, in 2017, Bhupendra Kainthola, the new director of FTII, made a course correction, wrote a letter of support, and paid for Payal’s travel expenses to Cannes to see her short film Afternoon Clouds.

Reactions to Fazal’s Post

Payal has now become the first Indian filmmaker to win the Grand Prix award for her directorial debut feature, All We Imagine As Light.

Other X users also objected to FTII’s hypocritical stance. One of them commented, “They are forced to post this. Success made it (fire emoji).”

Another wrote, ”Taking credit for her success after the torture and harassment you forced upon her … have some shame seriously!!”

“Shame Shame Shame…. But for you FTII this would have happened so much earlier and so many more would have come our country’s way…,” read a third comment.