Tamil filmmaker Thamiz’s debut film Sethuman and Karishma Dubey’s short Bittu won the top awards at the Indian Film Festival (IFFLA) in Los Angeles.
The 19th edition of the festival concluded on Thursday with an eight-day run, during which it performed 40 films in 17 languages, including films by 16 female directors.
A jury consisting of Milan Chakraborty, Nathan Fisher and Jane Wilson declared Seththuman of Thamiz the winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature.
“The Grand Jury Award for Best Feature won a film that impressed us both in terms of filmmaking and theatricality. It is an unprecedented first feature, gentle and impressive, done with heart and courage, which is very clear and very mature and complex at the same time. “We see a bright future for Thamiz and we wish him all the best,” the jury said.
Filmmaker Sajin Babu’s Malayalam film Biryani was recognized with honorable mention, while Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains won the Audience Award for Best Feature.
Karisma Dubey’s Bittu, who was in the race for a nomination at the 2021 Oscars, won the Grand Jury Award for Best Short.
The shorts jury, comprising Tanuj Chopra, Nick Dodani and Sakina Jaffrey, described the film as “riveting and compelling”.
“A fantastic film about a brilliant young girl who has a bad tongue, who discovers that her disobedience is life-saving. We found this film absolutely interesting and compelling. Based on a true story, Dubey succeeds in sensationally humanizing the event, and tells the story about the friendship between the two girls. It is one of the most breathtaking things that we have seen in a long time and we cannot wait to see what she does next, ”he said.
The jury recognized Wade with honorable mentions by National Award-winning filmmaker Reema Das for each other and by filmmakers Upamanyu Bhattacharya and Kalp Sanghvi.
Actress Nivita Chaliki received honorable mention for her best performance in the short for her film Forever Tonight.
Audi Award for Best Short went to Aarti Neharsh’s love story “The Song We Song”.