Dharamshala: With a picturesque venue between the lush green mountains of Mcleodganj, the sixth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) opened with critically-acclaimed actor Adil Hussain’s Mukti Bhawan to a full house.
Taking place at Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamshala, cinema lovers hailing from Himachal Pradesh, different parts of India and some from different parts of the globe, flocked to watch the opening film directed by National Award winner Shubhashish Bhutiani with Adil present at Hermann Gmeiner auditorium on 2 November.
Before the screening began, DIFF opened with a Tibetan song sung by children from the school aged 10-16.
Adil also introduced the audience to Barry John, a well known theatre director and teacher of talents like Adil, Shah Rukh Khan and Manoj Bajpayee among others, who was sitting among them.
Mukti Bhawan is based on the tale of a 77-year-old man, who wakes from a strange nightmare convinced that his time is up and that he must go to Varanasi to die and gain salvation.
About his experience on filming for a subject of death, Adil said, “We have to die at some point no matter who we are or where we are and is the only inevitable fact…Going to Varanasi for the coming was very enlightening for me because I actually walked around the burning bodies. That sort of fortified my belief in death.”
The four-day long extravaganza, will also have film screenings at the city’s new multiplex with two auditoriums at Gold Cinemas in Lower Dharamsala.
The offbeat film fest is organised by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. There will also be a special screening of the critically acclaimed A Death in the Gunj, which will be presented by director Konkona Sen Sharma.
The line-up also includes two award-winning documentaries — Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson and Rahul Jain’s Machines. Other films screening here include Newton, Turup, What Will People Say, Ajji and Heidi, among others.
The festival will end on 5 November with Rima Das’ Village Rockstar as the closing film.