Unveiling the Magic: The 2nd Edition of The Himalayan Film Festival 2023

The Himalayan Film Festival (THFF) is gearing up for its 2nd edition, once again bringing the enchantment of Indian cinema to the Himalayan landscapes, beyond the mainstream. The festival is set to run from September 29 to October 3, 2023.

Organized by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) of the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh, in collaboration with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, THFF is set to present a diverse array of cinema, spanning from mainstream gems to compelling documentaries and captivating short films.

The festival offers a dynamic lineup of events that not only engage and empower filmmakers but also captivate audiences. These offerings include the Screenwriters Lab, Short Film Competition, Photography Workshop, and Masterclasses, curated by esteemed professionals from the Indian film industry, in addition to the array of films showcased over the five-day duration.

Speaking about the second edition of The Himalayan Film Festival, Padma Angmo, Commissioner/Secretary, Information, Administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh, said, “We received a great response during the first edition of The Himalayan Film Festival in 2021. The primary aim of organizing the festival is to provide a platform for local Ladakhi filmmakers to showcase their films, encourage local talent, build their capacity, and connect them to experts and the market. It is a small community, but one that is very active and very creative. We hope that they will benefit from the opportunity to network with established filmmakers from other parts of the country. We hope that filmmakers from across the country, and the world, see Ladakh as a filmmaking destination, and utilize local talent in their filmmaking endeavors.”

Activities at The Himalayan Film Festival 2023:

Photography Workshop with Achal Mishra: For aspiring photographers from Ladakh, THFF is hosting an exclusive photography workshop led by renowned photographer and filmmaker, Achal Mishra. Achal’s debut feature film, Gamak Ghar, premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival and received the Manish Acharya Award for New Voices in Indian Cinema. This one-day, hands-on workshop aims to enhance participants’ photography skills amid Ladakh’s breathtaking landscapes, with Achal showcasing his work and sharing insights into the craft.

Short Film Competition: THFF invited filmmakers from the 12 Himalayan States/UTs of India to participate in their Short Film Competition, themed ‘The Mountains Are Calling.’ This competition offers a platform for budding filmmakers to showcase their talent and learn from industry experts. A distinguished jury will select the top 15 films for screening, with the three best films receiving cash prizes during the festival’s closing ceremony.

Film Screenings: THFF stays true to its commitment by presenting an exceptional selection of films from across India, with a special focus on content from Ladakh and the Himalayan states. The festival’s lineup includes acclaimed titles such as ‘Haqeeqat,’ ‘Jubilee,’ ‘Tora’s Husband,’ ‘Spawo (Warrior),’ ‘Ama (Mother),’ ‘Jungwa: The Broken Balance,’ ‘Lunana: A Yak In the Classroom,’ ‘Por Thozhil,’ ‘Sunpat,’ and the timeless ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai,’ among others, promising a cinematic journey spanning diverse emotions, narratives, and cultures.

The Screenwriters Lab: This initiative is tailored to empower and amplify the voices of emerging Ladakhi filmmakers, offering an immersive experience that nurtures talent and encourages innovative storytelling. Led by Satyanshu Singh, a National Award-winning filmmaker, writer, and esteemed professor of cinema, the lab provides intensive mentoring sessions. Selected participants will have the opportunity to pitch their projects to executives from major OTT platforms, offering a valuable opportunity for budding talent from Ladakh to shape their dreams.

Renowned filmmakers, industry experts, and luminaries will grace the event. Amit Sharma, Rima Das, and Dominic Megam Sangma lead the esteemed jury for the short film competition, adding expertise to the evaluation process. The festival will also welcome distinguished filmmakers and actors such as Janhvi Kapoor, Kenny Deori Basumatary, and Vikramaditya Motwane, who will share their insights and experiences through masterclasses and various discussions.

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