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Dharamshala International Film Festival 2017: 12 Films To Look Forward To

As we gear up to soak the 4 days of cinema, here’s a list of films for you to look forward to apart from the already released Mukti Bhawan, A Death In The Gunj and Newton.


Updated:November 1, 2017, 1:10 PM IST

The sixth edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) is all set begin on November 2. Tucked away in the mountains of McLeod Ganj, the independent film festival will see a myriad of films- features, documentaries and short films. As we gear up to soak in the 4 days of cinema, here’s a list of films for you to look forward to apart from the already released Mukti Bhawan, A Death In The Gunj and Newton.


Directed and produced by Ektara Collective, Turup uses the game of chess as a backdrop to comment upon the social and political issues of the country. The story revolves around a neighborhood wherein chess is a popular pass time for the ‘men’ just that their pawns are. When caste, class, religion, and gender come into play, there are boundaries to be negotiated, and the very rules of the game stand challenged then.


Directed by Arshad Khan, Abu is a journey to the center of a fragmented family grappling with religion, sexuality, colonialism, and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation, and classic Bollywood films, the film takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism and modernity and familiarity.

The Hungry

Directed by Bornilla Chatterjee, The Hungry stars Tisca Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah, Suraj Kumar and Sayani Gupta in key roles. The film is based on Shakespeare’s lesser-known revenge drama Titus Andronicus. The film has already been screened at the Toronto Film Festival and the recently concluded MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.


Directed by Pushpendra Singh, the film revolves around the story of a 9-year-old Ishvaku, who is sent to his uncle’s village to start a new life with his cousins after bandits raid their home killing his mother. Still in shock and pain, Ishvaku tries to cope with his loss by entering an imaginary realm wherein the difficulties and mysteries of reality won’t let him go easily.


Directed by Kirsten Johnston, the documentary’s idea is to dig deep into what it means to film another person. The filmmaker reaches into the vast collection of footage she’s shot over decades and what finally emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the cinema.


Another documentary to be presented this year at the film festival is Rahul Jain’s Machines. The documentary is a look behind the doors of a textile factory in India thereby exploring the meaning of modern-day labour, exploitation and the human cost of mass production in India.

What Will People Say

The drama revolving around the life of a father-daughter duo has been helmed by Iram Haq. It’s about the sixteen-year-old Nisha, who lives a double life of a timid Pakistani daughter at home and a carefree Norwegian teenager when out with her friends. The film stars Maria Mohzdah and Adil Hussain in key roles.


Ajji (Granny) by Devashish Makhija is a twist on the fairytale of the Red Riding Hood. An old tailor must take revenge for a brutal rape. It becomes a crime that must be silenced except Ajji has her idea of justice. Violence, power, and justice seem to be the themes at play and Ajji seems like a dark and interesting film to look out for.

Village Rockstars

Directed by Rima Das, the film revolves around a 10- year-old Dhunu living in a remote village in Assam. The poverty and morality of the world around her does not curtail Dhunu’s spirit or her dreams. She and her friends decide to form a rock band. Even while disillusionment is always knocking on their doors, Dhunu refuses to give up. She dreams of owning an electric guitar and making music. Shot with non-actors and limited resources, this film brings forth the modes of independent filmmaking.

Ralang Road

Set in the serene backdrop of Sikkim, Ralang Road is a fictitious account of four individuals who are interwoven in a labyrinth of the local landscape, village buildings, and the social microcosm. Various coincidences place them at the center of a series of unimaginable events. The film has been directed by Karma Takapa.

Anagamaly Diaries

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Anagamaly Diaries revolves around Vincent Pepe (and his friends) who wanted to be a powerful leader of a righteous gang that ruled the city, like his seniors. And then there’s the rival clan with the malicious gangsters of Angamaly, a locale on which the entire film is based. Through Pepe’s point of view, the film steers through the ups and downs of his life, how he handles the pickle he is in.


Directed by Alain Gsponer, the film revolves around the life of a young girl who lives in the mountains with her grandfather. Her life changes when she goes into a household and befriends the wheelchair-ridden daughter of a lord.

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