By Yash Thakur. Posted on September 29, 2015
This winter, the mountains are the place to be with the Dharamshala International Film Festival showcasing some of the best Indian (and international) films of recent times. The festival announced the addition of 5 more films, making the yet to be completed list a highly anticipated one.
Now in it's 4th edition, the festival has already added quite a few interesting features to this years' lineup. DIFF 2015 will see the much talked about docu The Wolfpack to Joshua Oppenheimer's explosive documentaries. The programmers have now added Masaan, which besides Court, is one of the most acclaimed Indian films in recent times.
While Court was screened at Dharamshala last year, the former will be a part of the feature presentation this year. A debut drama directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, the film is the story of four protagonists, all connected by the fact that they are misfits in a world of small-town moralities. The film won two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and got a theatrical release in the country too.
Another great Indian film, Placebo, has been added to the documentary section of this year's DIFF. Directed by Abhay Kumar, the film is a chilling examination of one of the most competitive institutions in the world, a premiere educational institute in New Delhi and the overwhelming pressure on its students from parents, faculty, administrators, other students, and themselves. Placebo is dubbed as a 'hybrid documentary' and has won accolades at various documentary film festivals.
Apart from it, Dharamshala will also see Brian Knappenberger's critically acclaimed documentary The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, a mesmerizing portrait of the Internet whiz kid's life and political convictions, which were cut short by his suicide in 2013. The festival will also showcase Boris Lojkine's Hope, a French drama which follows a young man from Cameroon who meets a Nigerian girl in the Sahara desert on his way to Europe; and Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska's Body, a powerful dramedy about a cynical prosecutor and single parent struggling with his daughter who suffers from a severe eating disorder and a psychic therapist who has a belief in ghosts. Read the full synopsis of the films and watch their incredibly amazing trailers below:
The 4th Dharamshala International Film Festival will take place from 5-8 November, 2015. To follow what's going on at the festival, check out their website. To get the latest updates from Dharamshala, do follow their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan is a co-production backed by Manish Mundra's Drishyam Films, Phantom Films and French producers Melita Toscan du Plantier, Pathe and Arte. The film, written by Varun Grover, features four stories focused on characters from different castes and how their lives intersect along the Ganges river: a lower-caste boy in a hopeless love, a daughter torn with guilt, a father sinking in greed, and a spirited kid craving a family, all yearning to escape the constrictions of a small-town. Probably one of India's most celebrated film till date, Masaan won the FIPRESCI Award and the Promising Future prize at the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year. The film has got some beautiful songs by veteran band Indian Ocean and some breathtaking visuals and was heralded by critics across the world with the New York Times calling it the "surest sign yet that a fresh crop of filmmakers is ushering Indian movies in a new direction."
According to Cleveland International Film Festival, "Abhay is amongst 10 first time filmmakers who are breaking the mold at an early stage of their careers, presenting original visions, structures, and devices - thus proving film will forever be an evolving art form." Placebo is a eye opening film where four students from one of India's most premium institute agree to be followed for a year as part of this observational experiment. However, as the filmmaker starts infiltrating this complex mindscape of restless youth and soaring ambition, a starting new reality begins to emerge. The crowdfunded documentary picked up the Special Jury Prize for the Best Film at the EBS International Documentary Festival, finished '2nd in the Best Debut section at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2014' and also played at Hotdocs 2015.