By Simran Sethi
Dharamsala, Nov 4 (IANS) The seventh edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) came to an end on Sunday with the screening of Aijaz Khan’s “Hamid”.
Leaving audience teary eyed at the gala, “Hamid” revolves around an eight-year-old boy whose father has gone missing in conflict-torn Kashmir and how he tries his best to search for his father.
The film features actors like Sumit Kaul, Rasika Duggal, Vikas Kumar and child artiste Talha Arshad.
Organised by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, the four-day independent film festival, which started with the screening of Dar Gai’s “Namdev Bhau: In Search Of Silence” on November 1, continued to present independent cinema to people amidst the green mountains of Mcleodganj.
Apart from the screening of various films , DIFF on Sunday also organised a special session on sexual harrasment in the wake of #MeToo movement.
The session saw the presence of sevral renowned journalists, filmmakers and veteran theatre director Anamika Haksar. The discussion was moderated by Monica Wahi, a curator content developer and creative producer of children’s films.
Kicking off the discussion, film editor Bina Paul applauded the brave women for showing the courage to talk about their sexual harrasment cases in public. She also urged people not to shame and mock the victims who have spoken up against the sexual assault.
The discussion also moved towards how cinema is suffering amidst the movement and what should be done to make it a better workplace.
This year, the festival also launched a Dharamshala PJLF Editing Workshop 2018 in association with the Paddy&Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund, to encourage editors in the independent cinema market.
The editing workshop was mentored by internationally renowned editor Jacques Comets, and Bina Paul, Artistic Director, International Film Festival of Kerala, and producer and script and editing mentor Olivia Stewart.
The festival presented a bouquet of films including short films, features and documentaries.
DIFF 2018 also focused on a special programme for children curated by film curator and Director of the South Asia Children’s Cinema Forum, Monica Wahi. This includes two award-winning features, “Chuskit” by Priya Ramasubban and Cross “My Heart” by Luc Picard, and four internationally acclaimed shorts.
“There are very less festivals in India which focuses on children. I am glad that DIFF understands the need for children films in India and holds a special film session for children every year, ” said Monica.
Renowned celebrities like National Award winning actor Manoj Bajpayee, celebrated photographer Raghu Rai, veteran film journalist Aseem Chabbra marked their presence at the seventh edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival.
Talking about the festival, filmmaker Devashish Makhija, who was present at the fest for the screening of his feature “Bhonsle”, said: “I am honoured that my film is a part of the festival. Festivals like DIFF encourages filmmakers to make good content driven films every year.”
Filmmakers and movie enthusiasts are now waiting for the next edition of the movie gala.