The line-up for the seventh Dharamshala International Film Festival (November 1-4) in McLeodganj includes Thithi co-writer Ere Gowda’s debut Kannada feature Balekempa, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee.Ma.Yau and Avani Rai’s award-winning documentary Raghu Rai: An Unframed Portrait.
The Spotlight on Himachal section will feature Ridham Janve’s The Gold-Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain, a film about Himachal Pradesh’s pastoral Gaddi community. Set in the Dhauladhar mountains, the film is in the Gaddi dialect and its cast includes shepherds from the community.
The international titles include Sara Driver’s Boom for Real from the United States, Hsiao Ya-chuan’s Father to Son from Taiwan, Joao Moreira Salles’s In the Intense Now from Brazil and The Red Phallus by Tashi Gyeltshen from Bhutan. Then, there’s the Georgian-Lithuanian film Namme, by Zaza Khalavashi, A Long Way Home by Luc Shaeldler from Switzerland, Little Forest by Yim Soon-rye from South Korea and Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, a documentary on the Oscar-winning Japanese composer, directed by Stephen Nomura Schible.
This year, the festival is hosting its first editing workshop , led by French editor Jacques Comets. Starting this year, the DIFF Film Fellows, an initiative that began in 2014, will focus on upcoming filmmakers from Himachal Pradesh, the organisers said. Five people will be selected for mentoring by National Award-winning director Gurvinder Singh and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Anupama Srinivasan.
There will also be an Indian short film section, curated by filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni, and the Children’s Film Programme, curated by children’s media specialist Monica Wahi.
The festival 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 in the Himalayan regions.