CHENNAI: Bengaluru-based filmmaker Raam Reddy's Kannada directorial debut "Thithi", which premiered at Locarno International Film Festival, bagged two top awards and ended the dry spell of eight years since an Indian film got selected in the competition section of the fest.
The film, which won the Golden Leopard and Swatch First Feature Award, featured in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente section at the festival held from August 5-15.
The award was announced on the Independence Day, which made the victory even more special for the film team. The film also received a standing ovation after its first screening at the festival.
"It has always been a dream of mine to capture a little piece of India's soul on film, and this was the attempt with 'Thithi'. Some of the characters in the film have become symbols to me - of how life can be lived simply, unequivocally, with grace and I feel blessed to have had the chance to immortalize them," Raam said in a statement.
"These awards and the overwhelmingly positive response in Locarno signals that the film has had a wonderful start to its journey, and that the collective soul of a magical community will live on," he said.
Shot in the Mandya district of Karnataka, this dramatic comedy was co-written by Ere Gowda, who spent most of his childhood in the very village that the film was shot in.
"Thithi" entirely comprises a cast of non-professional actors lending an unparalleled authenticity to the film. Much of the humour as well as the playful feel of the film's narrative emerged as a result of this ensemble non-professional cast.