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Dharamshala Int’l Film Festival gears up for 11th edition

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DIFF founders Ritu Sarin (L) and Tenzing Sonam (R) at the Press Club in Dharamshala on Monday (Phayul photo)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Nov 2: The much-awaited Dharamshala International Film Festival is set to take place from Nov. 3-6 at the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj. The co-founders Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam at the press conference on Monday said that they are thrilled to organize the festival in all its glory, after two years due to the pandemic.

 This year’s exciting line-up of independent films includes three films by Tibetan directors; Dhulpa by Kunsang Kyirong, You Tibetan? by Tenzin Yeshi and Cafe Illiterati by Tenzin Kalden, and a documentary ‘Tukdam: Beyond Worlds’ by Finnish-Irish filmmaker Donagh Coleman.

“We had two years of online festivals; it was a very different experience. Although it was quite successful because a lot of people were able to watch films from different parts of India and even around the world, you miss that kind of personal touch which is totally different. The whole idea of watching a movie in an auditorium with a whole bunch of other people sharing that same experience, that’s an experience you can’t recreate online.

“That’s why we are really excited now, it’s been almost three years since we did the last physical festival [in 2019],” filmmaker and DIFF co-founder Tenzing Sonam told Phayul.

The eclectic mix of genres at the indie festival is renowned across India for featuring Oscar-nominated selections and favourites from international film festivals across the globe. This year the Cannes Jury Prize Winner and Oscar nominee from Pakistan in 2022 called the Joyland directed by Saim Sadiq will be featured alongside the India’s Oscar-nominated documentary ‘Writing with Fire’ [2021] directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Sen.

Moreover, Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, and acclaimed screenwriter and comedian Varun Grover will be attending the festival for their masterclasses titled ‘Adventures in the Film Trade’ and ‘The Art of Screenwriting’ respectively. 

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