The journey of making Manto and taking it to the audience at Cannes has so far been miraculous, says director Nandita Das. Taking a breather out of a “roller coaster ride” that she has had at the French Riviera over the last five days, Das says that after the last-minute running around before she arrived for the festival, the “carnival-like energy” lifted her spirits. Das says the premiere garnered a four-minute standing ovation, and strangers hugged her while sobbing.

“Some just sat in their seats, still immersed in the experience. Some chose to walk out quietly, as if not wanting to break their experience. Six years of relentless work and challenges had finally found their culmination.” The director said the feedback on Manto, featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, was “overwhelmingly positive and their critique, interesting”.