The dates of the first ever Dharamshala International Film Festival were announced by noted Indian actor Kabir Bedi and Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam of White Crane Arts & Media at a press conference held yesterday at blueFROG, New Delhi.
Yesterday, we covered the story of an entrepreneur based in Dharamshala who’s been helping DIFF and that is how we were introduced to Ritu Sarin and the team at DIFF. A herculean effort on their behalf, organizing a film festival in open to air auditoriums in Dharamshala is certainly luring and come November 1, we might just make a trip to the mountains to bring you all these ‘human stories‘.
An exclusive trailer of the film When Hari Got Married, a documentary film set in Dharamshala directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam was screened at the conference prior to its India premier at the film festival.
Synopsis: Hari, a taxi driver in the Indian Himalaya, is getting married to a girl he has never met but with whom he has nevertheless fallen in love on the mobile phone. Outspoken, opinionated and funny, Hari grapples with nerves, heartburn and mounting tension as the day of reckoning draws close. As India rapidly modernises, dramatic changes are taking place even in his faraway village. But gods, oracles, and age-old traditions still play an important role in everyday life and come together to ensure an auspicious wedding.
Other movies we’d be eagerly looking out for are:
Synopsis: Deool is a 2011 Indian Marathi film directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni and produced by Abhijeet Gholap. The film stars Girish Kulkarni, Nana Patekar, Dilip Prabhawalkar, Sonali Kulkarni in lead roles. The film is about the effect of globalization on India’s small towns and the terrible state of Indian villages, with a political back-drop.
Deool won the 59th National Film Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Girish Kulkarni) and Best Dialogue (Girish Kulkarni).
Synopsis: Miss Lovely follows the lives of Vicky and Sonu Duggal, two brothers who produce forbidden sex-horror films for India’s small-town picture houses in mid-1980s Bombay—a dangerous world of savage opportunism, corruption and lust. Skirting repressive state censorship, police persecution and gangland distributors, cynical hustler Vicky struggles to run an impoverished operation, leaving the donkey-work to Sonu, his withdrawn, barely verbal younger sibling. Lonely and stifled, with no prospects other than the childlike desire to make a decent romantic film of his own someday, Sonu’s rage festers under the surface. Then Sonu meets Pinky, a mysterious beauty who appears to be a struggling actress. He decides to liberate himself by producing the romantic film of his dreams, which he will call “Miss Lovely.” With it’s near cubist attitude, baroque self-reflexivity and total disregard for genre conventions, Miss Lovely operates like a joyfully mutilated Bollywood parable, punctured by influences of the Japanese New Wave.
Miss Lovely competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
The Fable of the Fish
Synopsis: Lina and Miguel are a poor married couple who are trying to survive. When they move to a nearby slum, Lina and Miguel have no choice but to join the local scavengers digging through a garbage dump in order to survive. Advancing in years, Lina still dreams of becoming a mother despite Miguel’s lack of enthusiasm. Somewhat magically, her prayers are answered and she becomes pregnant. In her flooded house during a storm, she gives birth to a son. However when her son turns out to be a fish, Lina’s love for her offspring, as well as her marriage to Miguel, are tested by the strange and surreal moments that surround them.
Speaking on the occasion, Kabir Bedi said, “I’m so happy to support this new initiative in Dharamshala. I have spent much time in the region and can think of no better place to hold an international film festival. Films are such an important medium in our world today and I’m thrilled that Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, whose work I admire, are bringing quality, independent cinema to the mountains.”
According to Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, organizers of Dharamshala International Film Festival, “We always felt that Dharamshala, being such an unusual and cosmopolitan town, would be perfect for a film festival, even though there are no cinemas there. We wanted to showcase the best of current independent cinema and create a fun and intimate event where filmmakers, film lovers and locals can get together. We’ve had a lot of support from filmmakers, producers and sales agents and have been able to put together a very interesting and eclectic program of films, with many filmmakers coming in person.”
More about DIFF on their website and stay tuned with us if you’re not able to make it for the festival.