‘Mukti Bhawan’ to open, ‘Village Rockstars’ to close Dharamshala film fest

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McLeodganj, Oct 6 (IANS) The Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) 2017 will roll with Shubhashish Bhutiani’s “Mukti Bhawan” as its opening film here next month, while Rima Das’s “Village Rockstars” is the closing film.

Acclaimed actor Adil Hussain, who plays a pivotal part in “Mukti Bhawan”, will present the film at the fest, where a special screening of “A Death in the Gunj” will be presented in person by Konkona Sen Sharma.

Also, Amit Masurkar-directed “Newton”, India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Deepak Rauniyar’s Oscar entry from Nepal “White Sun”, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s acclaimed crime drama “Angamally Diaries” and Rahul Jain’s “Machines” are a part of the lineup, read a statement.

To be held from November 2-5, DIFF is an alternative, boutique independent film festival held annually in McLeodganj. The sixth edition will showcase a mix of independent features, documentaries, shorts and animation films from India and around the world.

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The list of international filmmakers attending DIFF this year includes Yoshinori Sato, who with support from the Japan Foundation will bring his feature film, “Her Mother”. Director Yaniv Berman will present his film “Land of the Little People”, with the support of the Israeli Embassy, and in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in India, Swiss director of Kurdish-Syrian origin Mano Khalil will present his feature film “The Swallow”.

From India too, various filmmakers from different regions like Sikkimese filmmaker Karma Takapa and Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery will be a part of the fest.

DIFF 2017 will also focus on a special programme for children curated by Film curator and Director of the South Asia Children’s Cinema Forum, Monica Wahi. This includes “Revolting Rhymes”, an animation film based on the book by the well loved children’s author Roald Dahl; a Dutch feature length children’s drama, “The Day My Father Became a Bush” by Nicole van Kilsdonk and Suresh Eriyat’s short animated film “The Tokri”.

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As part of the children’s special programme, this year DIFF is also partnering with the Embassy of Switzerland in India to mark the 70-year friendship between both the countries. This will include a special open air screening of the film “Heidi”, directed by Alain Gsponer, a screening of “My Life as a Courgette”, a stop-motion animation comedy film by Claude Barras and fun activities and games for children at the Swiss pop-up stall.

The festival will also host a selection of short films from India, curated by renowned Marathi filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni.

These apart, there will be panel discussions and conversations that provide insights into the world of independent filmmaking, and the fourth edition of the DIFF Film Fellows, Programme, a mentorship initiative for aspiring filmmakers in the Indian Himalayan region.

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