Dharamshala International Film Festival goes online for its 2020 edition
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided that the ninth edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) will go online from October 29 to November 4, 2020. This makes it the first major film festival in India to launch a digital version.
While the six-day festival will continue to bring the finest in contemporary cinema from around the world alongside engaging seriously with lovers of independent cinema through panel discussions and Q&A sessions, it also hopes to reach a much wider audience.
“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,” says DIFF Director Ritu Sarin.
Filmmakers Sarin and Tenzing Sonam had initiated the festival in 2012 with the aim of bringing high-quality independent cinema to the mountains, encouraging local filmmaking talent, and creating a meaningful platform to engage the area’s diverse communities. Since then, it has established itself as one of India’s leading independent film festivals.
“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 like-minded 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,” adds co-director Tenzing Sonam.
DIFF Board of Advisors
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.
To make the entire experience seamless, DIFF has partnered with the New Zealand-based Shift72, one of the world’s leading video streaming platforms.
The ninth edition of DIFF will be held online on online.diff.co.in.