By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Nov 4: The fifth edition of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF) kicked off to a packed house at Upper TCV School yesterday.
Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma attended the festival as the Chief Guest. Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi were among the Tibetan dignitaries that attended the event.
Sudhir Sharma, who came in lieu of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as the Chief Guest for the festival, greeted the congregation on the latter’s behalf.
“Honorable Chief Minister was scheduled to be here but had to change his schedule at the last minute for a meeting in Delhi,” Sharma said. “I want to assure the organisers that the government of Himachal Pradesh is ready to help them in every way possible for this festival,” the minister added.
The four-day festival from Nov 3rd- 6th has an impressive lineup of 43 acclaimed movies from 23 countries. It began with the screening of Raam Reddy’s award-winning Kannada film ‘Thithi’, a dramatic comedy about how three generations of sons react to the death of the oldest member of their family, which ended to a thunderous applaud from the audience.
Tamil Movie “Visaranai” (Interrogation) directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran and India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the upcoming Oscar Awards will be screened at the end of the festival.
DIFF is presented by White Crane Arts & Media Trust which promotes contemporary art, cinema and independent media practices in the Himalayan areas of India. It aims to create events, spaces and opportunities to nurture, encourage and develop contemporary forms of creative expression in the region.