This was 4th glorious year for DIFF – Dharamshala International Film Festival, a tiny film festival on the mountains. November 5th to 8th were the dates when film lovers from across the globe not only visited the festival, but talked, drank and made the festival successful.
Hands down to Ritu Sarin & Tenzin Sonam – the couple who pulled this festival from ground zero! I have been attending religiously this festival for last two years, and the quality of films are little improved this year. As a serious cinema lover, last year I expected to experience some great films, but was disappointed to a great extent. Therefore, first I was in little dilemma if I should attend this year or not, but thinking it would be a nice change in my routine, I took a delegate pass.
Titli – Kanu Behl’s debut film was the inaugural film for this year’s festival. With all regards to the awards that this film achieved so far, it turned out to be a complete gross. Perhaps this is a pitfall of a curated festival, that ends up showing mostly mediocre films. And this has been the most disturbing fact for DIFF so far.
The children’s film section was definitely way high in terms of quality. Thanks to Monica Wahi, the curator for children’s films, viewers of our mountain town were able to see some amazing films and Jury Feting’s Celestial Camel definitely deserves rounds of applause.
(photo courtesy: Nitish Chopra)
Among the films that I watched in this year’s festival, Ruchika Oberoi’s Island City turned out to be the best one. The subtle satire that gone into the screenplay without distracting the viewer’s focus on the story is highly commendable. This film can teach the upcoming film makers on how to make low-budget film that can stand out of crowd and how good screenplay and cautious restrain in direction can make a memorable film!
I hope to attend future editions of DIFF and expect it to improve every year.
Photograph: My son Apu, enjoying the sun on a DIFF-afternoon!