By : Isha Sharma
The second annual Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) took place at Mcleodganj, from 24 to 27 October 2013.
It was just the last year when an attempt of Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam (award winning filmmakers) came to being and the first edition of DIFF took place. The film festival was presented through White Crane Arts & Media Trust, which is a non-profit organisation.
Dharamshala is an ideal place for the screening of these movies, as its a hub for many international visitors and the Tibetan refugees. Apart from this, it was an opportunity for local crowd to see movies on big screen as there are no theaters in the town.
DIFF was started with the aim to celebrate the love of cinema and to offer Dharamshala’s citizenry exposure to good quality films from round the globe. Another motive of organising the event was to promote a cultural event in the region.
The fest was unique in itself and was attended by various filmmakers, producers, film critics and a huge number of film lovers. There was free entry for everybody and transport facility to different local colleges and schools was also provided.
The festival opened with much appreciated ‘Lunchbox’ directed by Ritesh Batra and producer of the film, Guneet Monga was here to present her movie. This unique love story starring Irrfan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur was the best selection for the opening night which filled the atmosphere with the fragrance of love.
The very known Nitin Kakker was here to present his movie ‘Filmistaan’, which was the closing movie for the event. Other filmmakers seen at the event were Nagraj Manjule for ‘Fandry’, Anand Patwardhan for ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’, Nishtha Jain for ‘Gulabi Gang’ and many more. Along with Indian filmmakers, the small town also spotted the footsteps of various international filmmakers like Jennifer Baichwal, who came here with her daughter to present ‘Watermark’, a Polish Jacek Borcuch for ‘Lasting’, a German director Ramon Zurcher for ‘The Strange Little Cat’ and the number continues.
The movies which were highly applauded were Fandry, Filmistaan, La Voz de Los Silenciados, The Act of Killing, Lunchbox etc.
This year DIFF saw huge crowd which was more than previous year. There were more than two hundred school and college students. Ritu Sarin said that she has been getting support from the Himachal government and local administration for this world-class event.
Filmmaker Nitin Kakkar interacting with people
A very striking feature of the fest was Q/A sessions with the filmmakers and were conducted in very friendly and casual way. Most of the sessions were packed.
The event was so much fun that the last day came up within a wink of an eye. The sparkling moon and the twinkling stars added glitters to the ambience and the fest concluded with ‘DIFF 2014’ in mind.