“For its authentic invoking of a community and an entire way of life and for making each of its people individuals rather than types.”
Previous Awards include the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Kannada; and the Karnataka State Film Awards for First Best Film, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Dialogue. And a variety of awards at international film festivals, chiefly, Mumbai Film Festival; Pune International Film Festival; Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart; Locarno International Film Festival; Palm Springs International Film Festival; Shanghai International Film Festival; and San Francisco International Film Festival.
Premise: A light take on how three generations of sons react to the death of their 101-year-old patriarch.
Actors: Thammegowda S, Channegowda, Abhishek HN, Pooja SM Cinematographer: Doron Tempert Editors: Raam Reddy and John Zimmerman Writers: Ere Gowda and Raam Reddy Director: Raam Reddy Producers: Sunmin Park and Pratap Reddy
Classification: UA Genre: Drama, comedy Mins: 2 hours, 3 mins
“Raam Reddy’s Kannada film Thithi, which has just been awarded ‘Best Film’ by the Film Critics Circle of India is a first in many ways. It is an art film which sets its narrative in an ‘ethnic community’—a village lying between Bangalore and Mysore dominated by the Vokkaliga caste—but does not become an ethnographic exercise. It has been fairly common for filmmakers from the ‘Third World’ to turn their fiction films into visual anthropology but Thithi positions itself as a hilarious look at the ways of people set in social ways by their baser instincts—mainly greed and carnality. The dialogue, which has audiences in splits, is a colloquial Kannada full of the most vulgar expletives but in Raam Reddy’s (and the writer Eregowda’s) hands it becomes a joyous celebration of street talk. It is perhaps this aspect of the film which has made it a hit even in the commercial circuit. The dialogues are now part of the vocabulary of a whole class of people in and around Bangalore. Raam Reddy was able to achieve what he did by using a strategy rarely seen—which is to avoid using professional actors, to set the film in an actual place known to him and get local people to play themselves—albeit in fictionalized roles. What he achieves is a kind of vibrant authenticity rarely seen on the Indian screen and the portrayal of people not as victims of society but as people living vibrant actual lives.”
MK Raghavendra, Film/literary scholar, theorist, critic and writer
Excerpts from previously-published reviews
“There are Sven Nyqvist-like frames sometimes: beautiful in their starkness… A Renoir-like simplicity lifts the scenes, and a Joycean wit carries them into unexpected dimensions.”