Dharamshala: The 8th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival will be held in McLeod Ganj from 7 to 10 November. Filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, who are long-term residents of Dharamshala, initiated the festival in 2012, with the aim of bringing high-quality independent cinema to the mountains, encouraging local filmmaking talent, and creating a meaningful platform to engage the area’s diverse communities.
Talking about this year’s line-up at DIFF, Festival Director Ritu Sarin said, “Every year, we try and stay true to the same principles that we set out for DIFF when we started the festival 8 years ago: to select films that combine a deeply personal vision with themes that resonate with our times. This year is no different, and hopefully our line-up, which has been carefully and painstakingly curated, will showcase some of the incredible diversity of filmmaking talent on offer in the world today.”
“‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’ by Prateek Vats will be the opening film of the 8th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2019. Gitanjali Rao’s feature animation, Bombay Rose, will close the festival. Directors Prateek Vats and Gitanjali Rao will be present on these occasions,” said Ritu Sarin.
She added that Adil Hussain an Indian actor will be attending the festival and conducting an Acting Workshop and Indian feature film directors Ekta Mittal, Gurvinder Singh, Kislay, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Priya Sen, R.V. Ramani, and Vinod Kamble will also be present during the festival.
She said that International filmmakers attending the festival include: Jesse Alk (USA), Kazuhiro Soda (Japan) and Samuel Weniger (Switzerland).
The DIFF 2019 film line-up includes Indian fiction and documentary In features film section it shall have About Love (dir. Archana Phadke), Aise Hee(dir. Kislay), Birha(dir. Ekta Mittal), Bombay Rose(dir. Gitanjali Rao), Eeb Allay Ooo!(dir. Prateek Vats), Jallikattu (dir. Lijo Jose Pellissery),Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut), (dir. Gurvinder Singh), Oh, That’s Bhanu (dir. R.V. Ramani)and Yeh Freedom Life (dir. Priya Sen). Gurvinder Singh’s latest feature fiction Khanaur (Bitter Chestnut) offers this year’s Spotlight on Himachal.
The Dalai Lama – Scientist directed by Dawn Gifford Engle, USA in in the cart
The international fiction and documentary features include: Another Day Of Life (dir. Raúl de la Fuente, Damian Nenow, Poland/Spain), For Sama(dir. Edward Watts, Waad Al-Khateab, UK), God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya (dir. Teona Strugar Mitevska, Macedonia/ France/ Belgium), Golden Age (dir. Beat Oswald, Samuel Weniger, Switzerland), Heimat is a Space in Time (dir. Thomas Heise, Germany), Inland Sea (dir. Kazuhiro Soda, Japan), Last Night I Saw You Smiling (dir. Kavich Neang, Cambodia), Mafak(dir. Bassam Jarbawi, Palestine/ USA/ Qatar), Pariah Dog (dir. Jesse Alk, USA), Song Without a Name (dir. Melina León, Peru/Spain/USA), Tehran: City of Love (dir. Ali Jaberansari, Iran/UK/Netherlands), The Best Thing You Can Do With Your Life (dir. Zita Erffa, Germany), The Dalai Lama – Scientist(dir. Dawn Gifford Engle, USA), Varda by Agnés (dir. Agnés Varda, France) and Vitalina Varela(dir. Pedro Costa, Portugal).
Short Films include section includes A Million Years (dir. Danech San, Cambodia), Bebaak (dir. Shazia Iqbal), Brother, Move On (dir. Antshi von Moos, Switzerland), The Booth (dir. Rohin Raveendran), The Little Goddess (dir. Gauri Adelkar),The Horns Of Kolkata (dir. Andrew Scott, New Zealand) Jamnapaar (dir. Abhinava Bhattacharyya), Kamali(dir. Sasha Rainbow, United Kingdom),Kandurwan– Baking History(dir. Mehvish Rather), Knock Knock Knock(dir. Sudhanshu Saria), Light a Candle(dir. Tenzin Kalden), Look at The Sky (dir. Ashok Veilou), Nemesis (dir. Behzad Jafarimazhab Haghighi, Iran), Nooreh (dir. Ashish Pandey), Pema (dir. Sonam Tseten), Sekool (dir. Stenzin Tankong), Student Bodies (dir. Ho Rui An, Singapore), Teesri Khwaish (dir. Purandhya Sharma), The Traffic Separating Device (dir. Johan Palmgren, Sweden), The Timekeeper (dir. Sohil Vaidya)and U for Usha (dir. Rohan Parashuram Kanawade). In a separate category, DIFF is partnering again with Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to present a package of short films – Chintu (dir. Anubhav Anand), Everything is Fine (dir. Mansi Jain), Gadhedo (dir. Jai Sharma), Laddoo (dir. Sameer Sadhwani, Kishore Sadhwani), Maa Tuki (dir. Suchana Saha) and Rogan Josh (dir. Sanjeev Vig).
The popular DIFF Children’s Film Programme will continue with a line-up that includes feature film Kastoori (dir. Vinod Kamble, India) and three shorts, The Award (dir. Lidija Mojsovska, Macedonia), School Trip (dir. Salvatore Allocca, Italy), and Chicken at Swami’s Kitchen (dir. Sachin Balachandiran, India)
DIFF is presented by White Crane Arts & Media, a trust founded by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary cinema, art and independent media practices in the Himalayan regions of India.
The first edition of DIFF was held in 2012. Since then, it has established itself as one of India’s leading independent film festivals. DIFF’s cutting-edge and eclectic programming – which includes many India premieres – and its policy of inviting as many directors as possible has made it one of the go-to events in any cinephile’s calendar. Last year, the films and side programmes at DIFF attracted a viewership of around 7000, of which at least 60% were from out of town from places as far away as Kerala, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Some of India’s best-known film critics and journalists from leading media houses were on hand to cover the event.
This year, the festival bids farewell to the Tibetan Children’s Village, which hosted DIFF for the past three years. The festival moves back to the location which hosted the first editions of DIFF, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts of McLeod Ganj