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Fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) likely to be held in November at McLeodganj

DIFF's Children's Film Programme is curated by children's media specialist Monica Wahi, who selected the films last year as well

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Cloudy Triund, above Mcleod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh. Wikimedia
  • This year, DIFF unveils a new look designed by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi, who have come on board as the Creative Partners for the festival
  • Filmmakers Umesh Kulkarni and Anupama Srinivasan will mentor the fellows
  • Hemant Sreekumar, Director of Experience said, DIFF’s new logotype was evolved out of the linear aspects of Buddhist art

Dharamsala, Sep 14 : The fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) will be held from November 3-6 at McLeodganj, Dharamsala.

DIFF is presented by White Crane Arts and Media, a trust founded by veteran filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary cinema, art and independent media practices in the Himalayan region of India.

“This is our fifth year and it means a great deal to us to have reached this milestone,” Sarin said in a statement.

“DIFF has surpassed all our expectations; from starting out as a small event in a town with no cinemas to becoming a truly international festival, with filmmakers, guests and audiences looking forward to coming to here each year from all over the world,” Sarin added.

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Sonam said they hope to continue building on the qualities for which DIFF has become known — showcasing a selection of indie films from India and around the globe, encouraging discussion between filmmakers and film lovers in an intimate yet casual atmosphere.

“At the same time, a priority this year is to expand its outreach to local communities, schools, and colleges,” Sonam added.

DIFF Poster. diff.co.in
DIFF Poster. diff.co.in

This year, DIFF unveils a new look designed by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi, an advertising agency, who have come on board as the Creative Partners for the festival.

Hemant Sreekumar, Director of Experience, explained: “DIFF’s new logotype was evolved out of the linear aspects of Buddhist art, whereas the colour thematic was inspired by the artist Nicholas Roerich’s ethereal Himalayan hues.”

For the fourth year in a row, the shorts selection has been curated by filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni, who has been a DIFF participant and supporter from the first edition.

DIFF’s Children’s Film Programme is curated by children’s media specialist Monica Wahi, who selected the films last year as well.

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DIFF will also present a selection of videos from the collection of its long-term collaborator, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

DIFF has announced the first six films from this edition. These include: “A Syrian Love Story” by British director Sean McAllister; Rajeev Ravi’s third directorial venture “Kammatipaadam”; South Korean director Jeon Soo-il’s “A Korean in Paris”; Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s “Sonita”; Thailand’s director Pimpaka Towira’s “The Island Funeral”; and Marathi film “Lathe Joshi” by Mangesh Joshi.

The gala also continues its Film Fellows programme, which was first set up in 2014 to enable budding filmmakers from the Indian Himalayan region to attend the festival and participate in mentorship sessions with established filmmakers. Filmmakers Umesh Kulkarni and Anupama Srinivasan will mentor the fellows.

This year sees a change of venue from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts to the Tibetan Children’s Village. (IANS)

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‘Visaranai’ brings curtains down for Fifth Edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF)

The festival also included few panel discussions and special chat sessions with veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and veteran screenwriter and filmmaker Saeed Mirza

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DIFF Poster. diff.co.in
– by Sandeep Sharma

Dharamsala, November 7, 2016: The fifth edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) came to an end on Sunday with the screening of National Award-winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran’s Tamil drama “Visaranai”, which has been named as India’s official entry for Oscars 2017 in the Foreign Language Film category.

Produced by popular actor Dhanush under his banner Wunderbar Films, “Visaranai” features Dinesh, Samuthirakani, Ajay Ghosh and Kishore in the lead.

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Based on the novel “Lock Up” by auto-rickshaw driver-turned-writer M. Chandrakumar, the film is about organised crime within the police force. It also throws the spotlight on police brutality.

The film witnessed a packed house in the Tibetan Children’s Village here. It struck the right chords with the audience, which included independent filmmakers, critics, local audience, tourists and movie aficionados.

The end of the film was marked by a loud applause and a standing ovation by the audience.

The four-day festival began with the screening of filmmaker Raam Reddy’s award-winning Kannada film “Thithi” on November 3 and screened 43 films in total from 21 countries including the US, Britain, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany and Bhutan among others.

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Taking place in the scenic locales of McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh, DIFF 2016 — organised by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam — showcased a collection of films that were diverse in theme, style and genre.

These included “Didi Contractor: Marrying the Earth to the Building” — a documentary by Swiss director Steffi Giaracuni, and Vietnamese director Nguyen Trinh Thi’s “Vietnam The Movie”, which had their world premieres at the festival.

Few of the other films that were screened included Singaporean director Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice”, Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s “Sonita” British documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister’s “A Syrian Love Story” and US filmmaker Mickey Lemle’s “The Last Dalai Lama?”.

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From the Indian turf, DIFF 2016 featured National Award-winning actor Girish Kulkarni’s Marathi road drama “Highway”, director Bauddhayan Mukherji’s “The Violin Player”, Rajeev Ravi’s Malayalam action thriller “Kammatipaadam”, former CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur’s short film “The Guide”, Gurvinder Singh’s short film “Infiltrator”, Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Six Strands” and ace filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s short film “That Day After Every Day” among others.

“We’ve had amazing audiences who are really interested in independent cinema. It’s really heart-warming to see that,” Sarin said.

Apart from these highly appreciated films, the festival also included few panel discussions and special chat sessions with veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and veteran screenwriter and filmmaker Saeed Mirza.

Filmmakers and movie buffs are now in anticipation of an assemblage of diverse independent cinema in the next edition of the movie gala. (IANS)