9th International Film Festival of Shimla inaugurated by CM Sukhu

The 9th edition of the highly anticipated International Film Festival of Shimla  inaugurated today by the esteemed Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, in a grand ceremony that brought together the worlds of cinema and culture. The event, held at the picturesque in Gaiety Theatre Shimla marked the beginning of a three days long celebration of cinematic excellence from around the globe.

In his inaugural address, Chief Minister Sh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressed his enthusiasm for the festival and emphasized the importance of cinema as a medium of cultural exchange. He said, “The International Film Festival of Shimla has become a hallmark event for our state, fostering a deeper connection between Himachal Pradesh and the global film community. Through the power of cinema, we share our culture, values, and stories with the world.”

Chief Minister further said that the screening in Jail and in Institute for children with special Abilities Dhalli is an opportunity to bring the magic of cinema to unexpected places and engage with audiences in a meaningful way. They truly deserve opportunities to explore outside world and there is no better way than cinema that can show various glimpses of contemporary society, creative elements of existing lives of people and it can make the inmates revamp their own sense of learning and creativity.

Mr. Pushp Raj Thakur, Festival Director, IFFS, expressed his excitement about this year’s festival, stating, “The Three Days International Film Festival of Shimla has always been a prestigious event on the cultural calendar, celebrating the art of cinema from both India and abroad. The festival is featuring a diverse selection of films from 20 countries and 24 states, including shorts, documentaries, and feature films, offering a captivating array of cinematic experiences to the audience. This year 38 International category ,62 National and 5  films in State  category has been officially selected for the competition. In International category filmmakers from United states of America, Belgium, Iran, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Turkey, Nepal, Egypt, Bangladesh, Italy, Poland, Argentina, Sweden, Afghanistan, Australia, France and Dubai are participating. While twenty-one states are participating from India viz., Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur, Assam, Delhi, Punjab, West Bengal, Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. Gaiety Theatre, an iconic heritage venue nestled in the heart of Shimla, is an ideal backdrop for this cinematic extravaganza. Its historic charm combined with state-of-the-art screening facilities will provide a unique and immersive experience for festival attendees.

Festival Director further adds that likewise, its previous editions International Film Festival of Shimla has an unusual screening of its 9th edition at Model Central Jail Kanda and Nahan. There is one more screen in Institute for children with special Abilities Dhalli for special children where 130 students see films in their campus.  These are another three venue of the three days International Film Festival of Shimla to be held from 22 to 24 September 2023 in Gaiety Theatre Shimla.

Persian  short Film from Afghanistan was the inaugural film of 9th edition of IFFS. This film is about an Afghan man and his wife wants to cross the borders illegally and reach Europe. After bearing many hardships and the trafficker’s criticisms, there comes a  sensitive border situation where the police are around them. When everyone should be quiet; suddenly, the woman starts moaning; her moaning leads to putting other’s lives in risk and inflames migrants’ protests. Meanwhile, the trafficker threatens that if the woman does not calm down, he will kill her. After a long conflict, suddenly, the baby is born, but the woman dies. The man is deeply shocked due to his wife’s death; when he becomes aware, he finds himself alone with a baby and an abandoned corpse. He discovers that other migrants have left him and his wife’s corpse without notice.

In  three days long IFFS cinephiles, filmmakers, and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to engage in Q&A sessions with directors, attend panel discussions, and participate in workshops aimed at nurturing the next generation of filmmakers. From thought-provoking documentaries to heartwarming narratives, the festival’s lineup boasts a curated selection of films that promise to entertain, inspire, and challenge perspectives. Attendees can also look forward to engaging panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities that provide insights into the art and craft of filmmaking.

The inaugural ceremony was graced by the presence of several eminent personalities from the film industry, government officials, and cinephiles. Attendees were treated to a captivating cultural performance, setting the tone for a festival that will not only screen outstanding films but also celebrate the art of storytelling.

The Three Days International Film Festival of Shimla is an annual event organised by Himalayan velocity in association with Ministry of Information and broadcasting and Language Art and Culture deptt of GoHP, that celebrates the art of cinema from around the world. It provides a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their work and engage with a diverse audience. The festival aims to promote cultural exchange and inclusivity through the medium of film.

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