Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know

Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know

In the heart of Karnataka's cultural stories, lies a folktale that has captivated generations—the tale of the missing rooster, suspected to be stolen by an old grandmother, casting a shadow of darkness over the village. This timeless narrative served as the spark of inspiration for filmmaker Chidananda S Naik's latest creation, Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know.

As the film garnered acclaim on the international stage of Cannes International Film Festival 2024 by winning in the La Cinef category, it serves as a testament to the enduring relevance of age-old tales in a rapidly evolving world.

The Folklore
"We have an incredibly rich heritage of folktales in India," Naik shares. "Growing up, I was surrounded by these narratives, which have stood the test of time due to their deep cultural resonance and timeless themes." For Naik, the allure of folklore has been a lifelong fascination, providing a fertile ground for his cinematic exploration.

Playing with Light and Dark
In Naik's film, an intriguing interplay of light and darkness sets the stage for the unfolding drama. "Night itself is a character in the film," Naik explains. "I wanted to capture the mysterious essence of the night, which holds secrets and revelations alike.  I made this film a year ago, and if I recall, I was only thinking about the story world and nothing else. As filmmakers, it's our job to create.”

Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know

Artistry Amidst Constraints
Despite limited resources, Naik's vision found expression within the confines of a four-day shoot and managed to win at the La Cinef competition at Cannes this year. "We were limited in resources, but not in creativity and talent," Naik asserts. “Art is universal, transcending boundaries and resonating with audiences on a profound level.”

The Future of Kannada Cinema
Naik is optimistic about the future of Kannada cinema, viewing it as an integral part of Indian cinema's vibrant landscape. "In the coming years, Kannada cinema will continue to flourish," Naik predicts. "Our films will entertain, inspire, and provoke thought, shaping the narrative of Indian cinema."

Sunflowers Were the First Ones to Know

Words Paridhi Badgotri
Date 11.06.2024