The second edition of The Himalayan Film Festival (THFF) will be held in Ladakh from September 29 to October 3, the organisers announced on Tuesday.
According to a press release, the film gala will bring the magic of Indian cinema beyond the mainstream, to the landscapes of the Himalayas.
It will be organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) of the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh, in collaboration with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh.
Acclaimed film titles promising a cinematic journey that spans “emotions, narratives, and cultures” including Haqeeqat, which was filmed in Ladakh, Spawo (Warrior), Ama (Mother), Jungwa: The Broken Balance, Lunana: A Yak In the Classroom, Por Thozhil, Sunpat, and the evergreen Lage Raho Munna Bhai are part of the THFF line-up.
Besides film screenings, the festival will offer events including the Screenwriters Lab, Short Film Competition, Photography Workshop, and Masterclasses, curated by esteemed professionals from the Indian film industry.
Padma Angmo, Commissioner/Secretary, Information, Administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh, said they are happy to return with the second chapter of the festival after its inaugural session in 2021.
“The primary aim of organising the festival is to provide a platform to local Ladakhi filmmakers to showcase their films, to encourage local talent, build their capacity, connect them to experts and the market. It is a small community, but one that is very active and very creative.
“We hope that they will benefit from the opportunity to network with established filmmakers from other parts of the country. We hope that filmmakers from across the country, and the world, see Ladakh as a filmmaking destination, and utilise local talent in their filmmaking endeavors,” Angmo said in a statement.
Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane and actor Janhvi Kapoor will be some of the names from the Indian film industry who will participate in the masterclasses at the gala.
“I think the Himalayan Film Festival is very important, not just for film lovers who get the chance to actually listen to speakers, watch a lot of movies and experience something like this, but I think it is also important for local filmmakers to be able to access and learn tools that will enable them to go out there and create their film,” said Motwane, whose web series “Jubilee” will also be screened during the festival.
“The Himalayan Film Festival is a great way for filmmakers from the Himalayan regions to showcase their talent and learn from industry experts. The festival will also provide an opportunity for viewers to see a variety of films and interact with filmmakers from across the country,” added Kapoor.
Director-photographer Achal Mishra, known for films such as Gamak Ghar and Dhuin, will head the Photography Workshop at THFF.
“I feel a film festival’s purpose shouldn’t just be bringing films from outside to a local audience, but also to give a platform to the local filmmakers and their films. I’m happy that The Himalayan Film Festival is doing just that for Ladakh, a place I dearly love, and which has been my second home for the last 5-6 years,” Mishra said.
Filmmakers Rima Das, Dominic Megam Sangma and Amit Sharma are part of the jury panel for the Short Film Competition segment during the five-day extravaganza.
“I am so happy that The Himalayan Film Festival is creating a platform to empower budding filmmakers, expose them to different kinds of films and nurture their talent,” said Das, whose film Tora’s Husband will be screened during the festival.
Sangma termed festivals like THFF as a bridge that connects two or more regions, helping the local community get more exposure to the world of cinema, and at the same time help reveal talent from this region to the world outside.
Filmmaker and screenwriter Satyanshu Singh will serve as mentor of the Screenwriters Lab at The Himalayan Film Festival 2023.