Film Fellows For DIFF 2017

The Dharamshala International Film Festival is pleased to announce the names of the selected young fellows for its fourth edition of the DIFF Film Fellows Program which will be held during the festival in November 2017.

As part of DIFF’s vision to promote independent cinema in the mountains, the fellowship program is targeted at young up-and-coming filmmakers from the Indian Himalayan region. The five selected film fellows are provided the opportunity to attend DIFF 2017 and participate in its various events, including screenings of the best of contemporary independent cinema, masterclasses and workshops held by visiting filmmakers and industry professionals. The selected participants will also have the opportunity to engage in special one-on-one mentor-ship sessions with two accomplished and recognized filmmaker.

The fellowship program has been made possible this year with the generous support of the National Film Development Corporation of India.

The jury for the 2017 Film Fellows Program were film editor and artistic director of the International Film Festival of Kerala, Bina Paul, feature filmmaker Shubhashish Bhutiani and Tibetan-American documentary filmmaker Tenzin Tsetan Choklay.

Five young filmmakers – one from Manipur, one from Assam, one from Meghalaya and two from Himachal Pradesh, have been selected to attend the program this year. Without further ado, the list of this year’s selected film fellows are:

Siddharth Chauhan is an independent filmmaker from Shimla. He started his journey in 2013 with Secret Corridor Pictures, a production that aims to make films with local talent in Shimla. He has to his credit a few short films – Boys Don’t Wear Nailpolish!The Infinite SpacePapaPashi – which have travelled across the world as far as Sarajevo, England, USA, Belarus, Indonesia, New Zealand, China, Italy, Canada & France. Siddharth is currently writing his first feature screenplay.

Sazzad Hussain is filmmaker from Guwahati, Assam. His passion for photography began as a child when he discovered his father’s old camera and went on to study film in the SRM film school, Thane. He also trained as an actor at Anupam Kher Actor Prepares in Mumbai, and enjoys participating in street plays and theatre. He has made a number of short films of which his film, Choice, won him the Media Blitz prize in 2017.

Renuka Soraisam is a filmmaker from Imphal, Manipur, who also works as a graphic designer and event manager. A graduate in advertising from the Sophia College for women in Mumbai, she pursued her masters in mass communication at Manipur University. She is also associated with the Nachom Art Foundation, which she believes has given her a better understanding of contemporary expression.

Jenifer Datta, born in Tura, Meghalaya, has been making films since 2014. She has written, directed, edited four short films – Open/EndWhere I’m Calling From and Little Things. Her latest short titled Thank You For Watching is currently competing at festivals. She is now penning her first feature length film.

Piyush Kanga is an actor / director from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. He is currently based in Shimla and has written and directed a number of short films, such as Stuck-ed and Dost. Dost was also screened as part of the community outreach programme at DIFF in 2016.

The mentors for this year’s fellowship program are National award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh, who currently resides in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, and Nepali-Tibetan screenwriter and director, Kesang Tseten. Gurvinder is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, where he has also taught alongside filmmaker Mani Kaul. His film Chauthi Koot, which premiered at Cannes, was screened at the 4th edition of DIFF in 2015. DIFF second mentor for this year is Kesang Tseten, one of Nepal’s best known documentarians. He studied journalism at Columbia University, and has directed a number of award winning films including Who Will Be a GurkhaIn Search of the Riyal, and Castaway Man.

DIFF welcome the fellows and mentors to DIFF 2017 and look forward to be an enriching and enjoyable experience.

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