Tamil filmmaker Thamizh’s debut film Seththumaan and Karishma Dube’s short film Bittu have won top prizes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
The 19th edition of the festival concluded its eight-day event on Thursday, showing 40 films in 17 languages, including films by 16 female directors.
A jury consisting of Milan Chakraborty, Nathan Fischer and Jenn Wilson named Thamizh’s Seththumaan the winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature.
“The main jury prize for best feature film went to a film that made a huge impression on us, both in terms of filmmaking and dramaturgy. It is a phenomenal first feature, gentle and impressive, done with heart and guts, which is very candid and very mature and complex at the same time. We see a bright future for Thamizh and we wish him all the best ”, said the jury.
Filmmaker Sajin Baabu’s Malayalam film Biriyaani was awarded the honorable mention, while Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains took home the audience award for best feature film.
Karishma Dube’s Bittu, who was in the running for a nomination at the 2021 Oscars, took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short.
The shorts jury, which includes Tanuj Chopra, Nik Dodani and Sakina Jaffrey, called the film “compelling and compelling.”
“A spectacular film about a brilliant young girl with foul language who discovers that her resistance is life-saving. We found this movie to be absolutely immersive and compelling. Based on a true story, Dube succeeded in an inimitable way to make the event more human, avoid sensation and ultimately tell the story of 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’s going to do next, ”they said.
The jury also recognized 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 film went to the queer love story “The Song We Sang” by Aarti Neharsh.