7th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 1 - 4 November 2018

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

7th DIFF, Dharamshala

The Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) which will be held from 1 to 4 November 2018 in the beautiful mountain town of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the meeting point of a rich and cosmopolitan mix of people and cultures. The seventh edition of DIFF will build on the hallmarks that have given the festival its reputation as a cutting-edge event – an intimate and carefully curated festival in the Himalayas showcasing an eclectic mix of the best of independent features, documentaries, shorts and animation films from India and around the world.

Opening and Closing Films
Dar Gai’s Namdev Bhau: In Search of Silence will open and Ere Gowda’s Kannada debut feature Balekempa will close the 7th edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2018. Both directors will be present.

Celebs and Filmmakers attending
Manoj Bajpayee – the lead actor of Bhonsle, and internationally renowned photographer Raghu Rai will be attending the festival along with his filmmaker daughter Avani Rai for her debut documentaryRaghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait.
Indian feature film directors Ere GowdaAnamika HaksarDevashish MakhijaRidham Janve and Priya Ramasubban will be present.
International filmmakers attending the festival include Tashi Gyeltshen (Bhutan), Dar Gai (Ukraine), Mathieu Roy (Canada), Hiroshi Sunairi (Japan) and Luc Schaedler (Switzerland).
Indian short filmmakers Siddharth Chauhan, Sudha Padmaja Francis, Mukul Haloi, Rishi Chandna, Tarun Jain, Raghbir Singh Toor, Natesh Hagde, Abhijeet Phartiyal, Divya Unny, Pia Shah and Ajitpal Singh will also be present.

A Still from Bhonsle, Manoj Bajpayee
A Still from Bhonsle
Complete Line-Up
The DIFF 2018 lineup includes Indian fiction and documentary features: Balekempa, BhonsleEe.Ma.YauGhode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya HoonThe Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain, Ma•ama, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s The Sweet Requiem, Namdev Bhau: In Search of Silence, and Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait, and international fiction and documentary features: 48 Years: Silent DictatorA Long Way HomeBamboo DogsBoom for RealThe DispossessedFather to Son, House of My FathersIn the Intense Now, Little ForestNammeOf Fathers and SonsThe Red PhallusRyuichi Sakamoto: Coda, and Waru.
Short Films include: Amma MeriEye TestKhurafatLetter To HomeNamage Navu Godege MannuPashiSakhisonaThe Open DoorTungrus and Two Brothers.
Children’s Films include: two features Chuskit, Cross My Heart, and 4 shorts Abu Adnan's Father, Beauty, Hadia (The Gift), Rammat Gammat.
Programming highlights
The Indian Programming highlights at the festival include Devashish Makhija’s BhonsleLijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee.Ma.Yau, Ridham Janve’s Gaddi-language feature film The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain, Dominic Sangma’s Garo language film Ma’ama and documentaries like Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait by Avani Rai, Asia Premiere of Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s The Sweet Requiem which has its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018 and Anamika Haksar’s Ghode ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon.
The International Programming highlights at the festival include the Indian Premieres of Hiroshi Sunairi’s 48 Years: Silent Dictator (Japan), TIFF 2017 Official Selection Waru (New Zealand), Tashi Gyeltshen’s The Red Phallus (Won the FIPRESCI at Busan), Zaza Khalvashi’s Namme (official entry to the Oscars from Georgia), and screenings of Yim Soon- Rye’s Little Forest (Korea), Hsiao Ya Chuan’s Father To Son (Taiwan) and the documentaries Boom For Now (Sarah Driver, USA), In the Intense Now (João Moreira Salles, Brazil), A Long Way Home (Luc Scheadler, Switzerland) and Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (Stephen Nomura Schible, USA/Japan).

A still from The Sweet Requiem, DIFF
A still from The Sweet Requiem
DIFF Children’s Film Programme
The popular DIFF Children’s Film Programme is once again curated by Children’s Media Specialist, Monica Wahi and the line-up includes two award-winning features, Chuskit (Priya Ramasubban, India) and Cross My Heart (Luc Picard, Canada), and four internationally acclaimed shorts, Rammat Gammat (Ajitpal Singh, India), Hadia the Gift (Sinem Sakaogl, Germany/Turkey), Father (Abu AdnanDenmark), Beauty (Christina Willings, Canada)

Shorts at DIFF
DIFF has always recognized the importance of short films as a category in its own right and for the fifth year in a row, filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni has curated a selection of ten shorts including Tungrus and Eye Test. Besides this, DIFF is partnering with Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to present a package of short films.

New Initiative: First Dharamshala PJLF Editing Workshop
This year, DIFF is thrilled to host the first Dharamshala PJLF Editing Workshop, an initiative supported by NFDC. The two selected projects are Where the Winds Blow by Director Karma Takapa and Editor Anadi Athaley, and 4Sum by Director Neeraj Gwal and Editor Rishiraj Bhattacharya. A third project, Choladirected and edited by Sanal Sasidharan, was unanimously recommended by the selection committee and will receive editing consultation from the mentors. The projects will be mentored by internationally renowned editor Jacques Comets who co-headed the editing department at France’s leading film school, La Femis, along with editor and Artistic Director of the Kerala International Film FestivalBina Paul and producer and script/editing mentor Olivia Stewart.

Balekempa, Kannada film
A Still from Balekempa
DIFF Film Fellows initiative
Five filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh, Rahat Mahajan, Aman Sharma, Mrinalini Singha, Vaasu Soni and Kesang Thakur will be mentored by renowned National Award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh and award-winning documentary filmmaker Anupama Srinivasan in this year’s edition of the DIFFFilm Fellow initiative. The initiative, started in 2014, is supported by the HP Government’s Department of Language, Arts and Culture, and this year focuses specially on filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh.

Spotlight on Himachal
Riddham Janve’s Gaddi language debut feature, The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain and Shimla-based filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan’s short film, Pashi, shot in Himachal Pradesh, are part of this year’s Spotlight on Himachal.

Talking about this year’s line-up at DIFF, Festival Director Ritu Sarin who along with Tenzing Sonam directed The Sweet Requiem which had its World Premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival said, It’s been seven years since we embarked on this amazing journey and we’ve had so many good movies and happy memories.”  She adds: “With each edition we’ve learnt new things and tried to improve DIFF as much as possible. As always, we have tried our best to put together a range of unusual and thought-provoking films, several of which are India premieres. Especially important to us is our community outreach programmes and initiatives to help young filmmakers. This year we’re thrilled to launch the first Dharamshala PJLF Editing Workshop in which two promising editor/director teams will benefit from mentorship from internationally renowned professionals. And we are very happy that our DIFF Film Fellows initiative this year is geared specifically to budding filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh.”

With an exciting line-up of films and events, DIFF 2018 promises to provide another unique, captivating cinematic experience against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar range.
The seventh edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival will be held in McLeod Ganj from 1 to 4 November. Filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, who are long-term residents of Dharamshala, initiated the festival in 2012, with the aim of bringing high-quality independent cinema to the mountains, encouraging local filmmaking talent, and creating a meaningful platform to engage the area’s diverse communities. For more information, log on to http://www.diff.co.in.

A Still from Namdev Bhau, DIFF
A Still from Namdev Bhau
DIFF is presented by White Crane Arts & Media, a trust founded by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary cinema, art and independent media practices in the Himalayan regions of India.

The first edition of DIFF was held in 2012. Since then, it has established itself as one of India’s leading independent film festivals. DIFF’s cutting-edge and eclectic programming – which includes many India premieres – and its policy of inviting as many directors as possible has made it one of the go-to events in any cinephile’s calendar. Last year, the films and side programmes at DIFF attracted a viewership of around 6000, of which at least 60% were from out of town from places as far away as Kerala, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Some of India’s best-known film critics and journalists from leading media houses were on hand to cover the event.

This year, for the third time in a row, the festival will take place in the peaceful environs of the Tibetan Children’s Village, a short distance from McLeod Ganj. Along with the two existing auditoriums at the school, this year DIFF is excited to partner with Delhi-based Picture Time to set up a mobile digital theatre with state-of-the-art projection facilities at the festival venue.

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