Dharamshala: To connect jail inmates with the outside world, organisers of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF – 2016) screened ‘When Hari Got Married’ inside the jail on Sunday.
The outreach program was held with active involvement of the district jail administration and as part of the pre-event screening to promote the film festival that opens up on 3rd November.
“The 5th edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival would be inaugurated by chief minister Virbhadra Singh,” Ritu Sarin, festival director stated here today.
“The festival ends on 5th November and well known film personalities Narseerundin Shah and Saeed Mirza are expected to attend the closing day’s functions,” said Sarin.
At the screening of ‘When Hari Got Married’, the film main cast Natasha, Deepti and Mathew along with jail superintendent Susheel watched the film with the jail inmates on Sunday evening.
The festival, being held at the Tibetan Children’s Village, close to the residence of Dalai Lama in McLeodganj, will screen a total of 46 films which include 27 feature films, 15 short films and 4 films for children.
Tenzin Sonan, festival director with wife Ritu Sarin, disclosed, “starting from June, a total of 900 entries were received for DIFF – 2016. The festival will have 4 video installations and will include 1 master class, 2 conversations, 2 panel discussions and few community outreach events.”
The films being screened will showcase unconventional, adventurous works that couple cinematic experimentation with pressing political and social concerns.
Sarin said, “after reviewing hundreds of films over many months, we have put together a slate of films that embody the spirit of independent cinema, that demonstrate strong directorial vision and a willingness to take risks, and that tell stories that are relevant in today’s world.”
“This year the spotlight would be on Himachali Films, which includes ‘Mane De Dere,’ ‘Asmad ‘ and ‘Didi Contractor’ marrying the earth to the building, she added.
Feature documentaries include Wojciech Staron’s “Brothers” (Poland), Steffi Giaracuni’s “Didi Contractor: Marrying the Earth to the Building” (Switzerland), Mickey Lemle’s “The Last Dalai Lama?” (US) and more.
Feature Narratives (International) has films from Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, Bhutan and more.
The Indian features has “Thithi”, “Visaranai”, “Circles of the Mind” and “The Violin Player”, among others.
In all about 20 film makers, including 9 international film makers are expected to reach Dharamshala along with their entries. 18 films are there for Indian premiers, 2 for world premiers and 1 has an Asian premier.
DIFF is curetted by festival directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, along with associate director Raman Chawla, filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni (short films programme) and children’s media specialist Monica Wahi (children’s films programme).
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.