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Meet Anasuya Sengupta becomes 1st Indian to win top acting award at Cannes

Anasuya Sengupta made history on Friday night as the first Indian to clinch a top acting accolade at the Cannes Film Festival. The relatively unknown actress, who has predominantly worked as a production designer in Mumbai

By Ground report
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Meet Anasuya Sengupta becomes 1st Indian to win top acting award at Cannes

Photo credit: Anasuya Sengupta/Instagram

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Anasuya Sengupta made history on Friday night as the first Indian to clinch a top acting accolade at the Cannes Film Festival. The relatively unknown actress, who has predominantly worked as a production designer in Mumbai and resides in Goa, secured the Best Actress award in the Un Certain Regard segment of the festival.

She earned this honor for her compelling performance in Bulgarian director Constantin Bojanov’s film, ‘The Shameless’, co-starring renowned actress Mita Vashist. Shot over a month and a half in India and Nepal, the movie portrays Sengupta in a gritty role.

Bojanov, an acclaimed director, reached out to Anasuya via Facebook, kickstarting her acting journey with an unexpected audition request. Her prior credits include serving as the production designer for Srijit Mukherjee’s ‘Forget Me Not’ in Netflix’s 2021 Satyajit Ray anthology and ‘Masaba Masaba’.

In an interview with My Kolkata, Anasuya said, “As a production designer in Mumbai, the projects I hold the closest to my heart include Sanjeev Sharma’s Saat Uchakkey (2016), starring the likes of Manoj Bajpayee and Anupam Kher, and Srijit Mukherji’s Forget Me Not, starring Ali Fazal as part of the Netflix anthalogy Ray (2021).”

 

In ‘The Shameless’, she portrays Renuka, a wanderer seeking refuge among a northern Indian community of sex workers after fleeing Delhi following a murder charge. The film revolves around Renuka's forbidden love affair with a teenager named Devika, played by Omara Shetty.

Accepting the award, a visibly moved Anasuya dedicated it to “the queer community and other marginalized communities for so bravely fighting a fight they really shouldn’t have to”. Her impassioned acceptance speech highlighted the resilience of marginalized groups.

Who is Anasuya Sengupta?

Born in Kolkata, Anasuya holds an English literature degree from Jadavpur University. Her journey into acting commenced with a supporting role in Anjan Dutta's 2009 film 'Madly Bangalee', transitioning into theater before relocating to Mumbai in 2013. Despite her success, she felt stifled in Mumbai, prompting her to explore new avenues.

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