Still from White Sun directed by Deepak Rauniyar
Still from White Sun directed by Deepak RauniyarPR Handout

Dharamshala International Film Festival 2017 kicks off on November 2 at 5pm with Shubhashish Bhutiani's National Award-winning feature Mukti Bhavan, followed by a Q&A session with its lead actor, Adil Hussain.

From November 3 to 5, screenings will be held at two auditoriums in the picturesque Tibetan Children's Village—with some repeat showings at the Gold Cinema in Lower Dharamshala.

A roster of 17 fiction features includes India and Nepal's Oscar entries—Newton and White Sun. Crowning our documentary programme is a newly restored version of Out of this World—journalist and writer Lowell Thomas' fascinating account of his travels in Tibet in 1949, which will be presented by filmmaker David Wright and Lowell Thomas's granddaughter, Anne Donaghy. Additionally, three experimental features will receive their South Asian premieres.

This year, Children's Programme is once again curated by Monica Wahi, director of the South Asia Children's Cinema Forum. The programme has been expanded to four sessions and includes a new adaptation of the classic children's book Heidi, which is showing in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in India.

DIFF 2017 also sees its fifth programme of short films from India—selected by renowned Marathi filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni—and the second edition of the Royal Stag Large Shorts programme.

Visiting filmmakers at this year's festival include:

Konkona Sen Sharma, director of Death in the Gunj.
Yaniv Berman, director of Land of the Little People.
Devashish Makhija, director of Taandav and Ajji.
Bornila Chatterjee and Tanaji Dasgupta, director and producer of The Hungry.
Dain Inskander Said, director of Interchange.
Pushpendra Singh, director of Ashwatthama.
The Ektara Collective, who have produced Turup.
Mano Khalil, director of The Swallow.
Lijo Jose Pellissery, director of Angamaly Diaries.
Yoshinori Sato, director of Her Mother.
Karma Takapa, director of Ralang Road.
Rima Das, director of Village Rockstars.

In addition to Q&A sessions, the filmmakers will take part in a series of masterclasses and topical panel discussions. With such a stellar programme, DIFF 2017 promises to provide another unique, captivating cinematic experience against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar Range.