Nestled in the folds of the dramatic Dhauladhar range, the globally renowned and culturally vibrant town of McLeod Ganj will host the first Dharamshala International Film Festival 2012 (DIFF 2012) November 1-4. Conceptualized by internationally acclaimed filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam and presented through their trust, White Crane Arts & Media, the festival will showcase around 20 feature films, shorts and documentaries, curated from the best of contemporary independent cinema. Filmmakers from India and abroad will be on hand to present their films and participate in a range of master classes and panel discussions.
Adding a new dimension to McLeod Ganj's already considerable reputation as a quirky, cosmopolitan town populated by a mix of local Gaddis, Tibetan refugees, foreign expatriates and travelers from around the world, the Dharamshala International Film Festival aims to establish a one-of-a-kind film festival, an intimate and exciting event in an unusual and beautiful setting where filmmakers and film-lovers can interact in an informal yet meaningful way and where local audiences can have the opportunity to watch some of the finest films being made in the world today.
Screening for the first time in India will be the documentaries:
1/2 Revolution by Egyptian/Danish filmmakers Karim el-Hakim and Omar Shargawi, a personal account from the frontlines of the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square;
5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnet and Guy Davidi, a unique Palestinian/Israeli collaboration chronicling a Palestinian farmer's nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army;
My Reincarnation by American filmmaker Jennifer Fox, an epic father-son drama spanning two decades and three generations;
Nostalgia For the Light by legendary Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, a profoundly moving film melding astronomy, archaeology and the search for the remains of the disappeared during the Chile's military dictatorship; and
When Hari Got Married, by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, a film following a local Dharamshala taxi driver's upcoming arranged marriage to a girl he has never met.
Other films include:
Oka!, the Indian premiere of Lavinia Currier's ethnomusic drama set in the Central African Republic (USA)
Miss Lovely, by Ashim Ahluwalia (India)
Gattu by Rajan Khosa (India)
Deool by Umesh Kulkarni (India)
Senna by Asif Kapadia
HaHaHa by Hong Sang-soo (Korea)
Pina by Wim Wenders (Germany)
Attending filmmakers include Asif Kapadia, Jennifer Fox, Karim El Hakim, Rajan Khosa, Guy Davidi and Umesh Kulkarni. They will introduce their films and participate in question-and-answer sessions. The filmmakers, along with noted film scholars, critics and writers will also present master classes and engage in panel discussions.
The Dharamshala International Film Festival will also coincide with the conclusion of a 12-day international artists' workshop from October 20 to November 1. Jointly organized by White Crane Arts & Media and Delhi‐based Khoj International Artists' Association, the workshop will be an art and cultural interface between international and India based artists, along with local artists and residents of Dharamshala. Works created during the workshop will be on display during the film festival.