Leh will play host to the highest altitude film festival of the world- Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF), organized by Monassé, at 13,500 ft above the sea level from June 15th to June 17th 2012.
The Ladakh International Film Festival aspires to delight cinema aficionados from around the world to visit and get experience the best of world cinema in the magical environs of Ladakh. Chaired by Shri Shyam Benegal, LIFF Patrons include very senior film professionals and young, enthusiastic cine lovers and is supported by prominent luminaries from the film fraternity. Melwyn Williams Chirayath is the Festival Director of the Ladakh International Film Festival. Apart from this the Jury Head and the Jury Members will be appointed by Shri Shyam Benegal.
Eminent personalities who are now on board as patrons of the festival include Christian Jeune- Deputy Director General, Festival De Cannes, Derek Malcolm- President of British Federation of Film Societies & The International Film Critics Circle and distinguished Film Critic & Historian, Jacob Neiiendam- Director Copenhagen Film Festival, Govind Nihalani- Eminent Film maker, Shekhar Kapur ( Eminent Film maker), Mike H Pandey- Chairman (Steering Committee, IFFI) & Film maker, Vishal Bhardwaj- Eminent Film Director/Producer/Music Director, Ketan Mehta- Eminent Film maker, Shaji N Karun (Eminent Film maker), Madhur Bhandarkar- Eminent Film maker, Deepti Naval (Eminent actor/film maker/author) and Nitin Desai- Eminent Art Director.
The mascot of Ladakh International Film Festival is ‘Schan’- The Snow Leopard. Through its association with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust, the Festival’s aim will be to raise awareness amongst people from all over the world on protecting the rare and endangered Snow Leopard.
Speaking on the inception of the festival, Chairman of the festival, Shri Shyam Benegal said, “I am extremely delighted to announce the first edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival. The effort is to create a festival that is totally distinct from other film festivals. Ladakh is a unique and apt venue for LIFF. The aspiration is to make it one of the best and exclusive film festivals on the roof of the world.”
Festival Director, Melwyn Williams Chirayath said, “Ladakh International Film Festival is like a dream come true as it was always a desire for me to associate my love for cinema and love for the beautiful environs of Ladakh. Through the Ladakh International Film Festival, it will be our mission to give this region its due and at the same time, make it a green initiative by conserving the ecosphere here and introducing carbon offsets. The presence of Cannes and Copenhagen Film Festival Directors and eminent Jury and Patrons members is proof to the fact that this Festival holds immense promise and potential to be one of the best and probably the most exotic Film Festivals in the world. It is high time we start thinking towards contributing back.”
Chairman/CEC, LAHDC, LEH Rigzin Spalbar said on behalf of the governing body of Ladakh said, “We welcome the holding of LIFF in Leh next year. It was discussed in the Executive Council Meeting of the LAHDC Leh on Nov. 12th 2011 and was unanimously decided to grant permission. We shall be more than happy to extend our full support to the organizers in holding the Festival.”
Multiple screen projections along with sound for better visibility during day time screenings will be installed at the venue. There will be an auditorium screening with 35mm dual projection and 5.1 sound facilities. Besides this, there will be two open air screenings. Films will be screened in three venues simultaneously and venues will have transportation facilities like buses and bicycles. Film Shoppé, planting fish and fish eggs in the river bodies of Ladakh, exhibitions, workshops and Green Carpet Premieré are other highlights of the festival.
Various works of art like paintings, sculptures and even photographs would be exhibited. There is an adjacent ground which could be utilized by local Ladakh businessmen to promote the local business.
Ladakh International Film Festival will be divided into following sections of films to be screened:
-Indian Section – Best of Indian Cinema Open to Indian films only
-International Section (Best of World Cinema) Open to non-Indian films only
-Competition Section – Short films, Animation films, Documentaries & Feature Films for a period of 2 calendar years
-Ladakh Section – Open only to citizens of Ladakh and films made on Ladakh (All formats from mobile phone to 35mm are accepted)
*These include short films, animation films, documentaries (drama/fiction etc.) & Feature Films.
Submissions of entries for the LADAKH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL are now open from January 01, 2012 and the last date of submission is April 01, 2012. Ladakh International Film Festival will not be charging any entry fee. For further information please visit the website i.e. www.liff.in or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. The festival website is under renovation and will soon come up with a new look.
The Awards given in the festival aim at encouraging the production of films of aesthetic and technical brilliance and competitive excellence and social relevance contributing to the understanding and appreciation of various regional cultures of the world in cinematic form, thereby also promoting the love for mother nature and the need to preserve the same.
Snow Leopard trophies, citations, certificates etc. would be given. There would also be a special Snow Leopard award to the best film made on any endangered species in the world. Cash prizes would also be given in the feature film competitive category. Film Shoppe would be attended by invited representatives of International Studios/Film Producers/Film Buyers, satellite channel etc. One could bring in their film and explore business opportunities with them. The focus is on the improvement of marketing opportunities of completed film projects.