The first Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) wrapped after a very successful four day inaugural event November 1–4, 2012. DIFF presented twenty-six films (including seven India premieres) from fifteen nations, with fourteen of the filmmakers attending. Other events included master classes, an art exhibition, and panel discussions.
Filmmaker Ritu Sarin, co-director of the festival with her filmmaker husband Tenzing Sonam (their films together include Dreaming Lhasa, The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche, The Sun Behind the Clouds) and a sixteen year resident of Dharamshala, said “We wanted an intimate setting with an eclectic choice and to involve the community as much as possible.”
Highlights included Hara Kiri: Death of A Samurai (Japan), Jose and Pilar (Portugal), China Heavyweight (China), Senna (UK), My Reincarnation (US/Italy), Pina (Germany), Nostalgia For the Light (Chile), and the India premiere of the new Sarin/Sonam film When Hari Got Married.
Venues used in the small town home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile were the government Club House, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) and the Tibetan Children’s Village Day School (TCV).
Buddhist Film Foundation served as fiscal sponsor to DIFF.