Mumbai filmmaker wins award at Cannes for 3-minute film

Achyutanand Dwivedi's three-minute film, “Seed Mother,” has won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, May 17. This year's theme was “We Are What We Eat,” aimed at exploring the world, experiencing diversity, and sharing experiences and knowledge through food.

“Seed Mother” celebrates the spirit of Rahibai Soma Popere, a farmer and conservationist, who champions the use of local seeds and traditional methods of farming in villages of Maharashtra. Born in 1964, she helps other farmers return to native varieties of crops, preparing hyacinth beans for self-help groups.

Her work has earned her the nickname "Seed Mother."

Dwivedi, born and raised in Mumbai, now lives in Pondicherry. He discovered the work of 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.

Dwivedi told the Indian Express that he shot “Seed Mother” with a mirror lens, “which helped the quality of the images. I see myself doing experiential documentaries to express myself through interesting themes and subjects," he told the paper.

In 2016, Dwivedi 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.

Held annually as part of the Cannes Critics’ Week to encourage new perspectives in filmmaking, Nespresso Talents is now in its fourth year. The contest, which is limited to films shot in a vertical 9/16 video format, is said to have received 371 videos from 47 countries in three broad categories: Farming and Biodiversity, Food Heritage and the Value Chain and Food in Popular Cultures.

New Zealand’s Josh Morrice won the first prize for “Subak,” about rice cultivation in Bali, while the second prize went to Mexican filmmaker Marco Aurelio Celis’ “Ruffo.”

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