By Tenzin Monlam
The Free Spirit Film Festival Director Lobsang Wangyal handing over the certificate of the Free Spirit Award to representatives of Waste Warriors at Hotel Tibet on October 27, 2017. Phayul photo
DHARAMSHALA, October 28: The Free Spirit Film Festival 2017 of Lobsang Wangyal Productions started yesterday evening with short film Karma at Hotel Tibet in McLeod Ganj.
Dubbed by its Director Lobsang Wangyal as the ‘smallest and unique’ film festival, the 13th edition of the festival will be showcasing 25 films shown through the five-day festival from October 27 to 31. The screening include four feature films, two documentaries and 19 short films.
“In the spirit of free spirit we show all kinds of films. There is no particular theme because each movie is very different. Therefore, fixing a theme is not appropriate for a festival, particular like ours,” Lobsang Wangyal said.
The festival also includes a Mandarin/Tibetan documentary ‘One Way Home’ directed by Qingzi Fan. The documentary revolves around Tashi and Yuju, two Tibetan children studying in China and the sense of loss of identity, language and culture following their ‘first class’ education.
With the emergence of other film festivals organized in Dharamshala, FSFF is the first film festival to be held in McLeod Ganj. Lobsang said that when he started this festival, there was a ‘complete vacuum’.
The multifaceted event organizer also welcomes the film grant initiated by the Central Tibetan Administration as a good beginning in providing assistance to Tibetan filmmakers.
Started in 2001, the festival also has been awarding ‘the annual Free Spirit Award’ since 2003 with this year’s award going to Waste Warriors, a voluntary environment protection group for their vision of a clean India.