The Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) is a non-profit undertaking presented by White Crane Arts & Media Trust.
Undeterred by the fact that Dharamshala has no cinemas, the first edition of DIFF was held from 1 to 4 November 2012. The event was a resounding success and a second edition was held from 24 to 27 October 2013, followed by a third from 30 October to 2 November 2014. The fourth edition was held from 5 November to 8 November 2015.
The main aims of DIFF are:
- To bring high quality, independent films along with their filmmakers from around the world to Dharamshala in order to enrich knowledge and understanding of other societies, cultures and ideas.
- To promote and encourage local filmmaking talent by organising special screenings, masterclasses and workshops;
- To create a truly meaningful, non-partisan cultural platform to engage and involve all communities that inhabit the area—Indians, Tibetan refugees and expatriates—in order to promote mutual understanding, foster harmony and offer exposure to contemporary forms of creative expression.
- To encourage film lovers and visitors from India and abroad to visit Dharamshala by establishing a world-class film festival and promoting it as a destination for cultural tourism.
About White Crane Arts & Media White Crane Arts & Media Trust was founded by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary art, cinema and independent media practices in the Himalayan region. As long-term residents of Dharamshala, they became aware of the lack of opportunities and initiatives to help local artists and filmmakers in the area, and the paucity of any forum for interaction with established artists and filmmakers. White Crane Arts & Media Trust aims to create spaces, situations and opportunities in the Himalayan region to nurture, encourage and develop contemporary forms of creative expression.