2nd edition of LIFF to premiere docu on Frontier Gandhi

NEW DELHI: A total of 115 films from fifteen countries will be screened at the second Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) being held early next month.

The films will be screened in five screens in Leh from 5 to 7 July, according to Festival founder and Festival Director Melwyn Chirayath who said the festival will be inaugurated by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and the awards on the closing day will be given away by Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari.


The jury for LIFF 2013 will be headed by well known actor / Director Aparna Sen while members are Paul Smaczny (Emmy winner), Mathew Robbins (Palm d‘Or), Vimukhti Jayasundara (Palm d’Or), Alireza Shahrokhi (Iran) & Teri McLuhan (Canada).

Announcing the details, Chirayath said “Ladakh is a one of its kind place in India, known for its serene environment and brilliant landscape. LIFF, in its second year, will screen a cross section of films.”

These include international feature films, documentaries from India, short films (national – international) and Indian feature films.

In addition, there will be a retrospective on lyricist-filmmaker Gulzaar by Director/Producer Vishal Bharadwaj who had got his first major break in the former’s ‘Maachis’.

There is a section celebrating women through some of the finest women oriented films made in India.

Chirayath added that entries were received from close to 130 countries, after which the best were selected for the final showcase.

A major highlight is the green carpet premiere at LIFF 2013 of Teri Mc Luhan’s documentary ‘Frontier Gandhi’, on the forgotten freedom fighter, nationalist and peace advocate Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan. There will also be a special children’s section curated by Amole Gupte, Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society, India, which will feature six children’s films.

The Ladakhi section will include Tsering Motup Chospa’s feature film Lzadol (Broken piece of moon), with its central theme of women’s strength, patience and wit against the evils of the day. In addition 5 short films from Ladakh will also be premiered this year”

Mike Pandey, a specialist in wild life and environment films and a patron of the Festival, said the Directorate of Film Festivals had curated an eight-film package to mark 100 years Celebration stressing on Women in Cinema. These include Diamond Queen (Homi Wadia) Hindi 1940; Meghe Dhaka Tara (Ritwik Ghatak) Bengali 1960; Mirch Masala (Ketan Mehta) Hindi 1986; Dasi (B Narsing Rao) Telugu 1987; Dahan (Rituparno Ghosh) Bengali 1997;Chandni Bar (Madhur Bhandarkar) Hindi 2001; Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (Anant Mahadevan) Marathi 2010; and Byari (Suveeran( Byari 2011.

While renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal, chairman of LIFF, said: “Apart from the fact that it is a festival that takes place in Leh on the roof of the world surrounded by the magnificent snow peaks of the Himalayan Zanskar range skirted by what appears to be a little fledgling river Indus which will soon become one of the great rivers of the sub-continent as it goes downstream. This is a veritable Shangri-la and the film festival is the latest of its cultural attractions. The venue of the festival is a large theatre on a hilltop built for this purpose by the state government with smaller halls surrounding it making for a perfect location for this delightful festival in the northernmost part of India.”

Vishal Bhardwaj, patron member of LIFF said: "To watch films in one of the most pristine landscapes in the world is a rare pleasure only the ladakh film festival offers. One walks out of the auditorium and is surrounded by mountains on all sides, it‘s almost surreal. What makes it even more special this year is the retrospective on Gulzar Saab, it will be an honor for me to curate this event which showcases some of his best work." -

Shaji N Karun, patron member of LIFF referred to cinema being a tool to identify it in spiritual languages and said he believed that Ladakh is one of the most suitable places of our land for spirituality.”

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