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National Award Winner

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Director, Raam Reddy

The Filmmaker 
Raam Reddy represents the emerging breed of independent young filmmakers that is exploring within to reach out. With a novel and a short film behind him at just 25, his debut feat, Thithi not only ended the dry spell for Indian films at Locarno International Film Festival but the Kannada film also went on to win two prestigious awards Pardo d’oro Cineasti Del Presente Premio Nescens [Golden Leopard, Filmmakers of the Present Competition] and Swatch First Feature Award for the best first feature in the entire festival. However, the idea that he would be making films one day wasn’t something he hungered after. ‘When I went to St. Stephen’s, I was submerged in a deep and intellectual writing culture that encouraged me to move into prose, and I started writing my debut novel titled, It’s Raining in Maya,’ Raam reflects upon his journey. Around that time he also noticed a growing passion for music in him. But streamlining his interest became the need of the hour. ‘That was when I found filmmaking, an art-form of art that combined all these elements; I immediately knew this is something I could thoroughly enjoy as a life pursuit, and I haven’t looked back since.’

The Film 
Shot in the Mandya district of Karnataka, Thithi is a dramatic comedy about how three generations of sons react to the death of Century Gowda, their great grandfather, who is a locally renowned and highly cranky 101-yearold man. Set in a village in the Mandya District of Karnataka, the three storylines intertwine before converging at Century Gowda’s Thithi, the final funeral celebration 11 days after a death. The script is co-written by Ere Gowda, who spent most of his childhood in the very village that the film was shot in. Interestingly, Thithi entirely comprises a cast of non-professional actors lending an unparalleled authenticity to the film. The young crew comprises collaborators from Holland, USA, many FTII graduates, as well as locals from the village. This perhaps explains the fresh form of storytelling that has helped bring forth a unique voice to celluloid.

The Inspiration 
‘The seed of Thithi was not the story, but rather the place. About five years ago, I went to visit the home of one of my closet childhood friends, Ere Gowda, who is also the co-writer and close collaborator on the film. I personally found such a perfectly absorbing cinematic world—full of heart and possibility—so I quickly told him that this would be a great place to attempt a feature film. He agreed immediately, and in due time Ere Gowda and I then began an incredible collaborative writing process; two very different yet complimentary minds coming together to attempt to create a story of originality and authenticity.’

Thithi recently won the National Award as the Best Kannada Film of 2016.

 

Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani

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