Meet Kolkata-Born Anasuya Sengupta, Who Made It Big In Cannes 2024: Education, Shift To Goa And More

Anasuya Sengupta, who once had no plans to become an actor, has become the first Indian actor to win the Un Certain Regard Best Actress trophy at Cannes 2024.


By Saakshi Gupta Last Updated:


Meet Kolkata-Born Anasuya Sengupta, Who Made It Big In Cannes 2024: Education, Shift To Goa And More

The Cannes Film Festival has always been a subject of intrigue for Indians. Whether it's watching diverse films on the screen at the event or top celebrities walking down the red carpet flaunting the best of their fashion, Cannes has always kept people around the world entertained with the content being circulated from here. But now, netizens have another reason to celebrate the event as actress, Anasuya Sengupta has created history by winning the Un Certain Regard Best Actress trophy at The French Riviera. Read more to learn who Anasuya Sengupta is, what her acting journey is, and how she made her way to Cannes 2024.

Anasuya had no plans to become an actress

The Kolkata-born Anasuya Sengupta, holds a degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Initially, the actress, who has now created history by becoming the first Indian actor to win Best Actress at Cannes, had no plans to venture into this profession. Instead, she had planned to discover herself through journalism. But fate had other plans for her as she ventured into the film industry. Initially, she worked as a supporting actor for Anjan Dutta’s 2009 film, Madly Bangalee.

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The award-winning actress has worked extensively as a production designer

Anasuya briefly worked in theatre before she made her decision to move to Mumbai in 2013. During that time, she began working as a set designer, creating visual backgrounds for a variety of projects. She used her ideas, creativity, and skills to build sets and designed productions for films and web series like Netflix’s Masaba Masaba, which gave her a close insight into the industry. Recalling her experience 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 anthology Ray (2021).”


Anasuya felt ‘lost’ and ‘claustrophobic’ at a point in Mumbai's glamour-filled film industry

Despite Anasuya working in the daily work, she didn't feel much of a satisfaction. From a creative perspective, the set designer felt somehow unable to express herself. Moreover, at some point, she took a risk and shifted to Goa. Sharing her perspective, Anasuya shared:

“All through my years in Mumbai, although connected to the world of art in some form or the other, a part of me felt lost, claustrophobic, almost devoid of free expression.”

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Here's how Anasuya bagged her role in The Shameless

Anasuya landed her role in 'Renuka' from The Shameless through a coincidence. In her interview, the young actress said that her Facebook friend, Bojanov asked her to audition for a role in his Hindi film, and she was surprised at the opportunity. The Bulgarian filmmaker who made The Shameless said in an interview with the Festival du Cannes that he was convinced that she was suitable from the first shot and is now looking for someone similar to her for casting in his next project. In one of her Instagram posts, Anasuya had written:

“In June 2020 Konstantin wrote to me saying he was interested in seeing me test for a principal character in his upcoming feature, The Shamelss. My first response… why?”


Anasuya Sengupta and The Shameless

Anasuya starred in The Shameless, with Omara Shetty. It is a noir thriller set against the backdrop of the centuries-old devdasi system. The actress bagged the Best Actress in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes 2024, which is yet to be released in India. Receiving the award, Anasuya dedicated it to the queer community and other marginalised communities all around the world. As per Variety, the actress said, “You don’t have to be queer to fight for equality, you don’t have to be colonized to know colonizing is pathetic – we just need to be very, very decent human beings.” It had its premiere at Cannes on May 17, 2024. 


What are your thoughts on Anasuya Sengupta's inspiring journey to victory at the Cannes Film Festival? 

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