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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)

Next Story

Giving Local Communities Responsibility to Manage Forests Could Help Ease Poverty, Deforestation

Identifying a mechanism — community forestry — that can credibly reduce carbon emissions at the same time as improving wellbeing of the poor is an important step forward in global efforts to combat climate change

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ease poverty, deforestation, poverty solution
FILE - Trekkers hike through a densely forested area near Ghorepani, Nepal, Oct. 23, 2014. VOA

Giving local communities the responsibility to manage forests — which are shrinking worldwide — could help ease poverty and deforestation, scientists said Monday in what they described as one of the largest studies of its kind.

Researchers examined more than 18,000 community-led forest initiatives in Nepal, using satellite images and census data from the South Asian country, where more than a third of forests are managed by a quarter of the population.

Giving Nepalese communities the chance to look after their own forests led to a 37 percent drop in deforestation and a 4.3 percent decline in poverty levels between 2000 and 2012, they said in a paper published by the journal Nature Sustainability.

“Community forest management has achieved a clear win-win for people and the environment across an entire country,” said lead author Johan Oldekop, an environment lecturer at Britain’s University of Manchester.

poverty solution, deforestation
Cutting down forests can also harm livelihoods and cause tensions, as people compete for fewer resources. Pixabay

Deforestation is the second-leading cause of climate change after fossil fuels, accounting for almost a fifth of planet-warming emissions, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in a 2018 report.

Trees soak up carbon dioxide from the air as they grow, and release back stored carbon when they burn or rot. Cutting down forests can also harm livelihoods and cause tensions, as people compete for fewer resources.

“Nepal proves that with secure rights to land, local communities can conserve resources and prevent environmental degradation,” Oldekop said in a statement.

Worldwide numbers

Yet indigenous peoples and local communities legally own only about 15 percent of forests worldwide, according to a 2018 analysis by the Rights and Resources Initiative, a global land rights coalition.

poverty solution, ease poverty, deforestation
Identifying a mechanism — community forestry — that can credibly reduce carbon emissions at the same time as improving wellbeing of the poor is an important step forward in global efforts to combat climate change. Pixabay

The world lost 12 million hectares (30 million acres) of tropical tree cover in 2018 — the equivalent of 30 football pitches a minute, said an April report by Global Forest Watch, run by the U.S.-based World Resources Institute.

ALSO READ: UN Launches Campaign to Bring Young Generation into Gender Equality Fight

The researchers who studied Nepal said other countries should try to follow its example by allowing local communities to manage forests as a way to cut emissions, while lifting people out of poverty. The study said Mexico, Madagascar and Tanzania had similar community-led forest initiatives.

“Identifying a mechanism — community forestry — that can credibly reduce carbon emissions at the same time as improving wellbeing of the poor is an important step forward in global efforts to combat climate change and protect the vulnerable,” said co-author Arun Agrawal from the University of Michigan. (VOA)