• A Night of Knowing Nothing

A Night of Knowing Nothing

a film by Payal Kapadia
2021, 97 minutes



Through fictional love letters found in a cupboard at the Film and Television Institute of India, we meet L, a film student writing to her estranged lover while he is away. Gradually we’re immersed in the drastic changes taking place at the school and in the lives of young people across the country as they take to the streets to protest widespread discrimination.

In her debut film, Payal Kapadia deftly merges reality with fiction, weaving together archival footage with student protest videos to create a vital tapestry of the personal and the political. With its dreamlike editing rhythms and a revelatory use of sound, A Night of Knowing Nothing is both an essential document of contemporary India and a nostalgic look at youth fighting the injustice of their time.


"The best film of the year." -Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

"One of the best student films ever made...imbue[d] with a sense of history unfolding in the moment." -Siddhant Adlakha, Indiewire

"Foregrounds cinema itself as a site of resistance." -Michael Sicinski, MUBI Notebook

Press Materials

High Res Stills & Press Kit
Press Release

Where to watch

Coming Soon


Feb 11: Museum of Modern Art - New York, NY
Feb 18: Acropolis Cinema - Los Angeles, CA
Feb 18: Gene Siskel Film Center - Chicago, IL
Feb 18: FilmScene - Iowa City, IA
Feb 27: Space Gallery - Portland, ME
Feb 25-27: Northwest Fim Forum - Seattle, WA

March 2: Lightbox Film Center - Philadelphia, PA
March 3: Maysles Documentary Center - New York, NY
March 4: George Eastman Museum - Rochester, NY
March 16: Cinema Lamont - Detroit, MI
March 17: Pickford Film Center - Bellingham, WA
March 24: Wexner Center for the Arts - Columbus, OH
March 25 & 27: Harpur Cinema - Binghamton, NY

April 7-14: Wisconsin Film Festival - Madison, WI
April 14-24: Indie Meme Film Festival - Austin, TX
April 15-24: The Ryder Cinema - Bloomington, IN
April 15: Eckerd College International Cinema - St. Petersburg, FL
April 23-24: Browning Cinema - Notre Dame, IN

May 6-7: Walker Art Center - Minneapolis, MN
May 6-7: Union Cinema, UWM - Milwaukee, WI
May 10: Jacob Burns Film Center - Pleasantville, NY

Festivals & Awards

Winner - Oeil d'Or (Best Documentary), Cannes Film Festival
Winner - Amplify Voices Award, Toronto International Film Festival
Winner - Emerging Cinematic Vision Award, Camden International Film Festival
Winner - Altered States Competition, Mar del Plata Film Festival
Official Selection - New York Film Festival
Official Selection - Busan International Film Festival
Official Selection - IDFA
Official Selection - Viennale
Official Selection - FID Marseille
Official Selection - DOC NYC


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