The fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF), which will be held from November 3 to 6 at the Tibetan Children’s Village, Dharamshala, has announced its programme of films.

Presented in collaboration with long-term partners Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, the festival is also supported by the Himachal Pradesh government and the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC).

Dharamshala International Film Festival -

Dharamshala International Film Festival Poster

In keeping with the spirit of previous editions, this year’s programme includes feature films, shorts, children’s films, video installations, masterclasses, workshops and community outreach events—offering a selection of the best in contemporary independent cinema. As always, DIFF will showcase unconventional, adventurous works that couple cinematic experimentation with pressing political and social concerns. This year’s festival also has a strong contingent of regional Indian and Asian films.

DIFF is curated by festival directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, along with associate director Raman Chawla, filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni (short films programme) and children’s media specialist Monica Wahi (children’s films programme).

Dharamshala International Film Festival -

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam

Ritu and Tenzing say: “As we celebrate our fifth edition, we hope to build on the hallmarks that have made DIFF such a special event. After reviewing hundreds of films over many months, we have put together a slate of films that embody the spirit of independent cinema, that demonstrate strong directorial vision and a willingness to take risks, and that tell stories that are relevant in today’s world.”

15 filmmakers from across India and the world will present their work at DIFF 2015.Most of the films this year have been screened at prestigious international festivals and several are making their Indian premieres.

Raam Reddy’s critically acclaimed Thithi will be the opening night film. Vetri Raman’s compelling Tamil drama Interrogation (India’s 2016 Oscar entry) will close the festival.

Still from Thithi

Still from Thithi

Feature documentaries:

  • Wojciech Staroń’s Brothers (Poland)
  • Steffi Giaracuni’s Didi Contractor: Marrying the Earth to the Building (Switzerland)
  • Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (France, USA)
  • Mickey Lemle’s The Last Dalai Lama? (USA)
  • Stanzin Dorjai Gya and Christiane Mordelet’s The Shepherdess of the Glaciers (France, India)
  • Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s Sonita (Germany, Switzerland, Iran)
  • Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story (UK, France, Lebanon, Syria)
  • Pushpa Rawat’s The Turn (India)
  • Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s Vietnam the Movie (Vietnam)

Feature Narratives (International)

  • Pimpaka Towira’s The Island Funeral (Thailand)
  • Portmanteau film Ten Years (Hong Kong)
  • Jeon Soo-il’s A Korean in Paris (South Korea)
  • Wang Yichun’s What’s in the Darkness (China)
  • Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice (Singapore)
  • Evi Goldbrunner’s At Eye Level (Germany)              
  • Khyentse Norbu’s Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (Bhutan)         
  • Esen Isik’s Köpek (Switzerland)
  • Ara Chawdhury’s Miss Bulalacao (Phillipines)
  • Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria (Germany)    
  • Emir Baigazin’s The Wounded Angel (Kazakhstan)

Indian features

  • Raam Reddy’s Thithi
  • Vetri Raman’s Interrogation
  • Sanjeev Kumar’s Circles of the Mind
  • Mangesh Joshi’s Lathe Joshi
  • Rajiv Ravi’s Kammatipaadam
  • Umesh Kulkarni’s Highway
  • Bauddhyan Mukherji’s The Violin Player

Short films (International)

  • Tenzin Dasel and Rémi Caritey’s Royal Café (France)          
  • Kristóf Deák’s Sing (Hungary)

Indian Short Films

  • Prabhjit Dhamija’s Asmad 
  • Hardik Mehta’s Famous in Ahmedabad
  • Pankaja Thakur’s The Guide
  • Chaitanya Tamhane’s Six Strands
  • Nishant Roy Bombarde’s The Threshold
  • Payal Sethi’s Leeches
  • Nina Sabnani’s We Make Images
  • Gurvinder Singh’s Infiltrator

Special local interest this year comes in the form of the Spotlight on Kangra Valley programme, which features Dharamshala director Sanjeev Kumar’s feature Man de Phere (Gaddi language); Prabhijit Dhamijia’s short Asmad and Steffi Giaracuni’s documentary about a legendary Himachal architect, Didi Contractor: Marrying the Earth to the Building.

DIFF 2016 is also proud to present a selection of single-channel video installations from Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary’s private collection: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s Collapse and The Incidental Insurgents (Parts 1 and 2), and Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s Some Questions on the Nature of Your Existence.

For further details on the festival, visit