Five Day 2019 Dharamshala Film Festival Gets Underway

McLeod Ganj: The Dharamshala International Film Festival in its 8th edition kicked off today. The festival is being held at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamshala.

Founder-Directors of the festival, Ritu Sarin, and Tenzing Sonam

Founder-Directors of the festival, Ritu Sarin, and Tenzing Sonam said,” the festival lineup this year has been carefully selected representing a range of genres, themes and concerns. Like all good films, they shine a light on urgent socio-political issues and excavate the depths of human experience.”

DIFF 2019 officially kicked off on Nov 7th, 2019 at TIPA’s main auditorium with a ceremony at 5:30pm which began with a traditional performance by artistes of TIPA followed by a short address by the Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay who congratulated the founders of DIFF for persisting on the difficult endeavour of creating and sustaining an independent film festival. Then, founder-directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam took to the stage to welcome the audience, and thanked the many people that make DIFF possible year after year.

Founder-Director Ritu Sarin said, “We realized the festival had grown larger than us, had become a part of Dharamshala, of the people’s lives here, of a community beyond, everyone was bound to the festival emotionally and in so many other ways.”

This was followed by the opening film Eeb Allay Ooo! (2019) with the director of the film, Prateek Vats in attendance to open the 8th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2019. Gitanjali Rao’s feature animation, Bombay Rose, will close the festival on 11th November and Gitanjali Rao will be present that day.

Celebrities and Filmmakers Attending Adil Hussain will be attending the festival and conducting an Acting Workshop. Indian feature film directors Ekta Mittal, Gurvinder Singh, Kislay, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Priya Sen, R.V. Ramani, and Vinod Kamble will be present. International filmmakers attending the festival include: Jesse Alk (USA), Kazuhiro Soda (Japan), Samuel Weniger (Switzerland).

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.

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.

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