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The Dharamshala Film Festival goes online

Though the pandemic has moved the festival online, it has resulted in an expanded slate and a chance for audiences anywhere to attend virtually

Luca Marinelli in
Luca Marinelli in "Martin Eden'

Like many of its global counterparts, the Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) is going online this year. The ninth edition of the festival will be held from 29 October to 4 November. Festival director Ritu Sarin said in a note: “Although we were initially unsure about taking DIFF online, now that we have taken the plunge, we are really excited by the possibilities that this has opened up. The online edition of DIFF will be able to reach audiences throughout India and some films will be available worldwide.”

One of these possibilities is a vastly expanded slate. While they usually screen a few dozen titles, this year there are more than 100 films from 40 countries. The big international titles include Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden (on several best films of the year lists), Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi, Massoud Bakhshi’s Yalda—A Night For Forgiveness (Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2020) and Gianfranco Rosi’s Notturno. A documentary and shorts-heavy Indian slate includes Pushpendra Singh’s Pearl Of The Desert and Yashaswini Raghunandan’s That Cloud Never Left.

One of the draws of DIFF has always been the conversations between film-makers. This year, Asif Kapadia (Amy) and Chaitanya Tamhane (The Disciple) will be in conversation with Sarin and festival co-director Tenzing Sonam. There will also be talks on film form and reality, writing for the screen, indie film-making in south Asia, and more.

Information on festival passes and the lineup is available on

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