DIFF v/s DIFF
Dharamshala International Film Festival (1 Nov 2012 to 5 Nov 2012)
Enjoying the world’s popular and impactful documentaries and inspiring films while simultaneously delighting in the fresh airs of heavenly hills and scenic beauty of Dalai Lama’s holy place Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, what could be the best vacation for movie enthusiasts! The maiden edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival, held from 1 Nov 2012 to 4 Nov 2012, turned out to be a successful initiative by documentary filmmakers’ duo Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam, who invited entries from all across the world. The festival opened with Hansal Mehta’s film ‘Shahid’, which is scheduled to release sometime in January 2013, received applaud from one and all present in the audience that were mostly international and Indian tourists and locals. The other interesting films showcased were the documentaries like ‘When Hari Got Married’, ‘5 Broken Cameras’, ‘Yangsi’, ‘My Reincarnation’, ‘Senna’ and ‘1/2 Revolutions’ among many others and the presence of international filmmakers like Jennifer Fox, Mark Eliot, Dain Said, and Asif Kapadia added icing on the cake. Master classes by Jennifer Fox on making of a documentary, Asif Kapadia on telling difference between fiction and non-fiction storytelling, and Aditi Chitre on creating animation added meaningful insights to overall film festival experiences. The festival had volunteers from USA, France, Canada and other countries who made sure that the event runs smoothly and indeed, their dedication at their allotted jobs was commendable while the helping attitude of smiling Tibetan monks made the festival even a more memorable experience. All those who attended the fest had a wonderful experience of both watching the films and sight-seeing the little Tibet of India. DIFF is indeed one festival in India which is to look forward next year!!!
Delhi International Film Festival (21 Dec 2012 – 27 Dec 2012)
Although, the assortment of films, showcased at maiden edition of Delhi International Film Festival, were impressive but the absence of filmmakers interaction with the audience was a huge turn off. Adding to the misery is the curfew that has been imposed against the on-going protests at the central Delhi (i.e Connaught Place and India Gate) during the time festival was on in the capital city. As the films were screened at NDMC convention centre, Sansad Marg and all the major routes leading to the centre were disrupted, hence the festival witnessed less than expected numbers of film enthusiasts. Also, the inauguration of DIFF’12 resumed two hours late than the expected time and as the festival organisers claimed, the Communication & IT minister Mr. Kapil Sabil couldn’t be a part of the ceremony, and so did veteran actresses Zohra Sehgal and Sharmila Tagore. It was also claimed that the filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia would hold a seminar or workshop, which also did not happen. Hence, despite the screening of interesting mix of films of the world cinema including entries from Pakistan, the film festival saw less visibility and cold response due to various unfortunate reasons. We salute the initiative taken by veteran film journalist Ram Kishore Parcha to bring Delhi’s edition of film festival but we hope to see much more organised, interactive and integrated version of the DIFF in the coming year!!