Last day at DIFF 2015


The Dharamshala International Film Festival concluded on the 8th Nov with screening of Masaan. The fourth and last day of the festival saw a host of award winning films, including several cutting-edge Indian films and a specially curated children’s package called Reel Neverland.

The day began with Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary, The Look of Silence, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. At the second venue, Club House, film curator Monica Wahi introduced two films from DIFF’s Reel Neverland package: an animated short by Dina Velikovskaya, About a Mother, and Jury Feting’s feature film, Celestial Camel.

This was followed by a filmmaker session, Making Masaan. The session was moderated by Namrata Joshi and included director Neeraj Ghaywan and lyricist and screenwriter Varun Grover, and engaged the audience in a freewheeling discussion about the making of Masaan and the film as a reflection of a society in rapid flux.

Swiss director, Dodo Hunziker presented the Indian premiere of his documentary, Tibetan Warrior, along with the film’s main protagonist, Loten Namling, at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).

The attendees included dignitaries and ministers from the Tibetan administration, including the Ministers for Home, Finance, Religion and Culture, Education, in addition to the Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. The president of the Tibetan Youth Congress and the private secretary of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Taklha were also in attendance.

Two other documentaries premiered at DIFF on the last day were Farid Eslam’s Yallah! Underground and Brian Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.

At TIPA, the festival was wrapped up with an evening of the best of Indian independent films. Island City was presented by director Ruchika Oberoi, followed by Chauthi Koot, introduced by its director, Gurvinder Singh. The closing night film for DIFF 2015 was Neeraj Ghaywan’s acclaimed feature, Masaan. Both Ghaywan and Varun Grover were present for the Q&A session.

DIFF 2015 lived up to its promise of creating a non-partisan cultural platform for the diverse residents of the region, and bringing the best of international independent cinema to the mountains.

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