The Dharamshala Film Festival (DIFF) is back with its second edition, showcasing works like Maxim Pozdorovkin's documentary on banned Russian band 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer', Brazilian Oscar entry 'Neighbouring Sounds' and Nishtha Jain's 'Gulabi Gang'.
The four-day festival in Dharamshala which is organised by Ritu Sarin and Tenzin Sonam, promises to bring the best of recent Indian and world cinema, both in fiction and documentary.
"The festival is truly a celebration of art. After taking 'Shahid' to so many film festivals last year I realised that DIFF was a real festival in true spirits. There was no rushing to movie markets, selling and buying of movies but purely focusing on art. I am going back this year," said Hansal Mehta whose movie 'Shahid' opened the festival last year.
'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer', based on the four Russian female band members who were arrested in early 2012 after they burst into Moscow's main Orthodox cathedral and tried to perform a "punk prayer" denouncing President Vladimir Putin, will be making its India premiere at the festival.
Other movies to be screened in India for the first are Polish filmmaker Jacek Borcuch's 'Lasting', Australian director Kate Shortland's 'Lore', British sci-fi feature 'Piercing Brightness' and Japanese martial art extravaganza 'Boshido Man'.
This year the focus is also on Indian documentaries with strong social concerns and so documentaries and films like Anand Patwardhan's 'Jai Bhim Comrade', Nagraj Popatrao Manjule's 'Fandry', 'Menstrual Man' and Q's 'Tasher Desh' will also be screened.
Other notable works to be shown are 'The Strange Little Cat', 'Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry, 'To Let The World In', 'The Act Of Killing' and 'With You Without You'.
The organisers have also brought in leading international artists' films which are rarely seen outside the gallery space in collaboration with Vienna-based Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation to the festival this year.
Recent short films from India, curated by marathi director Umesh Kulkarni, are also a part of the event.
DIFF also plans to feature master classes, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with the audience this year.