May 27, 2021 9:11:02 pm
Tamil filmmaker Thamizh’s debut film Seththumaan and Karishma Dube’s short Bittu have bagged top prizes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
The 19th edition of the festival concluded its eight-day run on Thursday, during which it showcased 40 films in 17 languages, including movies by 16 women directors.
A jury comprising of Milan Chakraborty, Nathan Fischer and Jenn Wilson declared Thamizh’s Seththumaan as the winner of Grand Jury Award for Best Feature.
“The grand jury prize for best feature went to a film that impressed us tremendously, both in terms of filmmaking and dramaturgy. It’s a phenomenal first feature, gentle and impactful, done with heart and guts, that is at the same time very candid and very mature and complex. We see a bright future for Thamizh and we wish him the very best,” the jury said.
Filmmaker Sajin Baabu’s Malayalam film Biriyaani was recognised with the Honorable Mention, while Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains took home the Audience Award for Best Feature.
Karishma Dube’s Bittu, which was in the race for a nomination at the 2021 Oscars, bagged the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short.
The shorts jury, which included Tanuj Chopra, Nik Dodani and Sakina Jaffrey, hailed the film as “riveting and compelling”.
“A spectacular film about a brilliant young girl with a foul tongue who discovers that her defiance is lifesaving. We found this film absolutely riveting and compelling. Based on a true story, Dube in an inimitable way managed to humanise the event, avoiding sensationalising, and ended up telling the story about a friendship between two girls. It’s one of the most breathtaking things we’ve seen in a long time and we can’t wait to see what she does next,” they said.
The jury also recognised National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das’ For Each Other and Wade by filmmakers Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi with Honorable Mentions.
Actor Nivita Chaliki received the Honorable Mention for Best Performance in a Short for her film Forever Tonight.
The Audience Award for Best Short went to queer love story “The Song We Sang” by Aarti Neharsh.
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