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Ere Gowda's Balekempa wins FIPRESCI Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam

Balekempa had its world premiere at the festival under the Bright Future Selection program.

A still from Balekempa

Sonal Pandya

First-time filmmaker Ere Gowda, who wrote the National Award-winning film Thithi (2015), has made a splash internationally with Balekempa (The Bangle Seller). The film revolves around a bangle seller and his wife, who have problems conceiving. Balekempa had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018 under the Bright Future Selection program.

International Film Festival Rotterdam to highlight Tamil cinema

The festival announced the list of winners on Twitter on 2 February, stating, “The FIPRESCI Award goes to.. Balekempa by Ere Gowda! Congratulations! The Award is given to the filmmaker of the best film of all the world premieres in Bright Future, out of the Hivos Tiger Competition, by the jury of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique.”

Writer-director Ere Gowda’s story has been incredible, to say the least. He worked as a security guard for producer Pratap Reddy, where he met his son Raam. Gowda wrote Thithi, while Raam produced and directed it. The film is a multi-generational dark comedy set in a village. Thithi, too, travelled across the world and was screened at several international film festivals.

With Balekempa’s auspicious start in Rotterdam, it looks like history is set to repeat itself for the young filmmaker.