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Dharamshala International Film Festival Announces Final Lineup

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The ninth edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) announced the final lineup of films, short-films, documentaries, feature narratives and independent films on October 15.

It will be held from October 29 to November 4.

The films will be streamed on Shift72- an online platform which will be hosting, managing and delivering video content.

The DIFF is curated by Dharamshala-based filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary cinema, art and independent media practices in the Himalayan region.

Critically acclaimed films like Hao Wu’s 76 Days, Gianfranco Rosi’s Notturno, Arab and Tarzan Nasseer’s TIFF Netpac Award winner Gaza Mon Amour will be premiering in India at this festival, after their successful screenings at film festivals in Venice, Toronto and New York.

The DIFF has the widest slate of programming, with over 100 films from 40 countries, as reported by Mumbai News Network.

According to the directors, the festival will involve conversations with filmmaker Asif Kapadia who won the Oscar for his 2015 film Amy, award-winning filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane (director of The Disciple), Juhi Chaturvedi (writer of Piku and Gulabo Sitabo), and Varun Grover (writer of Masaan).

“Although we were initially unsure about taking DIFF online, now that we’ve taken the plunge, we’re really excited by the possibilities that this has opened up. The online edition of DIFF will be able to reach audiences throughout India and some films will be available worldwide. The online format also allows us to programme many more films than we could normally and we are thrilled about that,” Festival director Ritu Sarin told Mumbai News Network. 

The DIFF has introduced the Audience Award for the Best First Film to encourage and promote Indian short films that explore new waters despite experiencing crunch during the making of the films.


Passes for the festival will be available in three categories.

Premium Festival Pass gives the buyer access to the entire lineup and special programmes (only available to viewers in India).

Regular Festival Pass includes a majority of the selection and access to the special programmes, panels and workshop (only available to viewers in SAARC countries).

Lite Festival Passholders will have access to a smaller selection of films and will have access to the panels if there is availability (available to viewers worldwide).


The Indian premieres include the Sundance 2020 Award winners Yalda – A Night for Forgiveness by Massoud Bhakshi; Softie by Sam Soko, Identifying Features by Fernanda Valadez, and Welcome to Chechnya by David France. Also premiering are Martin Eden by Pietro Marcello, Exile by Visar Morina, Babyteeth by Shannon Murphy, Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa, The Kingmaker by Lauren Greenfield, Shell and Joint by Isamu Hirabayashi (Rotterdam), and Air Conditioner by Fradique (Rotterdam).

Indian Documentaries include A Rifle and a Bag by Arya Rothe, Cristina Hanes, Isabella Rinaldi (Indian Premiere), Pearl of the Desert by Pushpendra Singh, and That Cloud Never Left by Yashaswini Raghunandan.

The Indian documentaries to be featured, include Anonymous (directed  by Mithunchandra Chaudhari), Bread and Belonging (directed by Sonia Filinto), Bound By Us (directed by Chinmoy Sonowal), Chachan, A Day (directed by JJ Abraham), Desire (directed by Garima Kaul), Did You Do It? (directed by Aditi Bhande), Fathima the Oracle (directed by Geleck Palsang), Ghar Ka Pata (directed by Madhulika Jalali), and others.

The Shorts Programme includes Bittu (directed by Karishma Dev Dube, India), Wig (directed by Atanu Mukherjee, India), Yarne (directed by Andrew Krakower, USA), Bare Trees in the Mist (directed by Rajan Kathet, Nepal), Stray Dogs Come Out at Night (directed by Hamza Bangash, Pakistan), and The Sea (directed by Cameron Richards, UK).

In a separate category, DIFF is once again partnering with Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to present a package of Indian short films: Alternism (directed by Devansh Mathur), Call him Eddy (directed by Sanjeev Vig), Disconnected (directed by Suhail Tatari), Dobara Alvida (directed by Shashank S Singh), Man of the House (directed by Jall Cowasji), and Nawab (directed by Mansi Jain).

The International Feature Narratives will see films like Aidol (UK), Air Conditioner (Angola), Ama Khando (Nepal), Baby Teeth (Australia), Corpus Christi (Poland/France), Exile (Germany, Belgium, Kosovo), Gaza Mon Amour (Palestine/France/Germany/Portugal/Qatar), and Identifying Features (Mexico/Spain), to name a few.

Some of the international documentaries to be featured are The Kingmaker (USA), Land of My Father (South Korea), My Own Way (Denmark), On a Clear Day You Can See the Revolution from Here (UK), Ophir (France), Our Time Machine (China), Pearl of the Desert (India/South Korea), Return to Gandhi Road (New Zealand),and Reunited (Denmark).

The Shorts section includes films mostly by Indian filmmakers from across the globe– 30K an Ounce (Thailand), Aicha (Morocco), Bandh (India), Bare Trees in the Mist (Nepal), Bittu (India), Bully (India), Catdog (India), Da-Dzma (Belgium), Dhummas (India), Green Blackberries (India), Kanya (India), Khisa (India), No Place (Brazil), Laali (India), and others.

The festival has also lined up panel discussions with filmmakers and critics.

The full lineup and information regarding passes is available on

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