Due to the continuing seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 9th edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) will go online from 29 October to 4 November 2020. DIFF will be the first major film festival in India to launch a digital version.
Well known for its cutting edge and thoughtful programming, the festival will again offer an eclectic slate of films that represents the finest in contemporary cinema from around the world. And it will continue to engage seriously with lovers of independent cinema and the filmmaking community through a series of carefully curated online panel discussions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and a range of industry professionals.
By moving into the digital space, DIFF will reach a much wider audience and spread the spirit of independent films, from the mountains of McLeod Ganj to audiences across India and South Asia.
DIFF Director Ritu Sarin says: “The decision to take DIFF online was not an easy one to make. So much of what DIFF is about has to do with its location and its intimate character. In the end, we decided that we had to keep DIFF going digitally, not only to give filmmakers a much-needed platform but also to connect with our audiences. We are very excited that people from all over South Asia will be able to view films from home this year!”
Co-Director Tenzing Sonam adds: “This has been a steep learning curve for us but at the end of the day, we are excited about moving into the digital world. We will miss the cinematic experience of watching films in an auditorium in the company of likeminded film lovers and we hope to return to a physical festival once the pandemic is under control, but until then, let’s enjoy DIFF virtually!”
Dharamshala International Film Festival Announces an Advisory Board
Oscar-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, along with producer Guneet Monga and actor Adil Hussain, will be part of the inaugural DIFF Board of Advisors. Joining them will be Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, chairwoman of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and former Vodafone global CEO Arun Sarin.
On her association with DIFF, Guneet Monga says “DIFF is a special film festival. It is run by Ritu and Tenzing with so much love and passion! Every filmmaker should experience the joy of being at DIFF. Although this year we are forced to come together virtually, the independent spirit of the festival will remain at its heart.”
Partnership with Shift72
DIFF will partner with the New Zealand-based Shift72, one of the world’s leading video streaming platforms, to move into the digital realm and offer audiences a seamless user experience. Prominent festivals from around the world such as Toronto International Film Festival, CPH:Dox and SXSW have worked with Shift72.