Thithi, a Kannada feature film, has won two awards at the 68th edition of the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival held in Locarno, Switzerland. Directed by 25-year-old debutant Raam Reddy, the dramedy won the top prize in the festival's Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Cinema Of The Present) sidebar, a section for first- or second-time filmmakers, and the Swatch Award for Best First Feature, awarded by a separate jury.
Shot in the Mandya district of Karnataka, Thithi observes three generations of a family as they congregate for the death of the family patriarch. Co-written by Ere Gowda, the film has made use of non-professional actors but boasts of a crew that includes technicians from various parts of the world. Last year, it made it to the National Film Development Corporation's Work-In-Progress Lab, where it was adjudged the Best Work-In-Progress Fiction Feature.
In an emailed press statement, Reddy — an economics graduate from New Delhi's St Stephen's College — was quoted as saying the following:
“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. 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.”
A review of the film on MUBI.com called it "an excellent premiering debut" and praised it further for being "funny, humane and seemingly effortless".