Bittu: Karishma Dube's live-action short film Bittu won top prizes at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2021. This year's festival, which was the 19th edition of the film festival, came to an end after an eight-day run on Thursday.
IFFLA, which was held virtually from May 20-27, showcased 40 films in 17 languages, including the work of 16 women directors.
Dube's Bittu bagged the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short. Speaking of the film, which is shortlisted for the 93rd Academy Award, the jury hailed it as "riveting and compelling".
"It's one of the most breathtaking things we've seen in a long time and we can't wait to see what she does next," the jury said.
The film is inspired by an infamous 2013 poisoning accident that took place in a school. The debutant filmmaker Karishma Dev Dube reimagined the story in a remote village in the Himalayas, where the writer and director of the film spent a major portion of her life growing up in a boarding school.
Checkout the trailer here:
On the other hand, the jury composed of Milan Chakraborty, Nathan Fischer and Jenn Wilson chose Tamil filmmaker Thamizh's debut film Seththumaan as the winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature.
"It's a phenomenal first feature, gentle and impactful, done with heart and guts, that is at the same time very candid and very mature and complex," the jury said.
Among the feature film category, the Malayalam film Biriyaani directed by Sajin Baabu, National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das’ For Each Other and Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi’s Wade were given honorable mentions, while Fire in the Mountains helmed by Ajitpal Singh took home the Audience Award for Best Feature.