DHARAMSALA, Nov 6: The fourth edition of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF) kicked off on Nov 5 at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) with the screening of ‘Titli’, Kanu Behl’s directorial debut.
Behl along with the film’s actor Ranvir Shorey presented the film and took questions from a packed auditorium comprising of independent filmmakers, actors, film aficionados and prominent local dignitaries.
After the screening, DJ Hamza and Manu Idhra, an acclaimed duo from Delhi and Portugal belted out amazing electronic and fusion music that set the tempo for the remainder of the opening night with the crowd gyrating for hours into the cold November night.
A total of 37 films comprising of an eclectic mix of the best of independent features, documentaries, shorts and animation films from films from 18 countries will be screened at TIPA and the Club House over Nov 5-8.
Two panel discussions with noted filmmakers on the topics, ‘the new Indie wave’ and ‘film and the female gaze’ and a filmmakers session with the director Neeraj Ghaywan and screen writer, Varun Grover of Masaan, one of 2015’s big indie hits, will be held during the four-day festival.
A DIFF Film Fellows Programme will also be held with established filmmakers Anupama Srinivasan and Umesh Kulkarni to provide valuable opportunities for the participants to broaden their understanding of film.
The first edition of the Dharamsala International Film Festival was held from Nov 1-4, 2012. The filmmaker couple Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam of White Crane Arts & Media Trust who organizes the annual event aims to bring high quality, independent films along with their filmmakers from around the world to Dharamshala in order to enrich knowledge and understanding of other societies and to promote and encourage local filmmaking talent by organizing special screenings, master classes and workshops.
“When we started DIFF, my wife and I are of the view that if we can bring a lot of independent films to Dharamsala, it will help foster harmony with the local people, develop creative expressions and encourage Tibetan filmmakers through exposure to different kinds of films and filmmakers,” Tenzing Sonam said and added that it has now become easier for them to organize the annual event compared to earlier editions.
“When we first started the festival, we didn’t know how it will shape up as we didn’t have any experience of organizing such festivals. As we moved on since the first edition and held the festival annually, people became more aware of the DIFF and now it has become much easier to organize it compared to the earlier editions. The filmmakers are contacting us and its become easier to invite established filmmakers to Dharamsala,” he added.