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We are delighted to co-sponsor with the DocYard a special screening and visit with filmmaker Payal Kapadia.

Payal Kapadia’s latest film A Night of Knowing Nothing will screen at the DocYard on Monday, Oct. 4 followed by a Q&A over Skype. The following evening Payal will visit the Film Study Center’s Nonfiction Workshop at 5:30pm (over Zoom) for a discussion about her films. If you are interested in attending and are not currently an FSC fellow (we are only able to accommodate a limited number of participants) kindly email FSC’s program coordinator Cozette Russell (cerussell@fas.harvard.edu).


Starting with a beautifully accomplished trilogy of short films, Mumbai-based filmmaker Payal Kapadia has developed a bold hybrid cinema that seamlessly combines fiction and nonfiction techniques. In A Night of Knowing Nothing, her first feature, Kapadia’s vision continues in fearless, rigorous, and utterly astonishing form—and was justly rewarded with the documentary Golden Eye prize at Cannes 2021. The film’s story comprises a series of love letters found in a cupboard at a film school, from a student who is separated from her lover and thus writing and saving them for his return. As the letters are read aloud by an actor, the visual material that bolsters the narrative is comprised of beautiful 16mm footage that Kapadia and collaborator Ranabir Das (the film’s cinematographer and editor) recorded of their friends, and their friends’ own videos, starting in 2017. All of the crisp diegetic recordings, voiceover narration, and images merge and flow into each other effortlessly, setting up the context for even those unfamiliar with India’s present and presenting an oneiric telling of personal and societal responsibility. In this way, the story of one student’s relationship becomes a larger story about the life of university students more broadly, told with great urgency, especially once the film advances to its titular night. (AS)

World Premiere and L’Œil d’or, le prix du documentaire winner at 2021 Cannes. Closing Night at 2021 FIDMarseille. Official Selection of 2021 TIFF Wavelengths and 2021 NYFF Currents and winner of the Cinematic Vision Award at Camden International Film Festival this past weekend where the film had its US Premiere.


Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai-based filmmaker and artist. She studied Film Direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. Her short films Afternoon Clouds and And What Is The Summer Saying premiered respectively at the Cinéfondation and Berlinale. She is a Berlinale Talents alumna and participated in 2019 at the Cinéfondation – Residence in du Festival de Cannes.

Her first feature-length film A Night of Knowing Nothing was selected for Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2021 where it won the Golden Eye Prize for Best Documentary. Her next project, All We Imagine as Light, which received support from CICLIC, Hubert Bals Fund, and PJLF Arts Fund, is currently in development.