Dalai Lama meets filmmakers and team of Free Spirit Film Festival

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama meeting the film directors and team members of the 13th Free Spirit Film Festival at his residence in McLeod Ganj, India, on 1 November 2017.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama meeting the film directors and team members of the 13th Free Spirit Film Festival at his residence in McLeod Ganj, India, on 1 November 2017. Photo courtesy of OHHDL

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 1 November 2017

The film directors attending the 13th edition of the Free Spirit Film Festival and the team members of the festival received an audience with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The five-day festival was concluded on Tuesday night, with the Director of the festival Lobsang Wangyal announcing the winners of the awards at the festival.

A total of 24 films in all genres were screened in McLeod Ganj, with an audience from around the world attending the festival.

ENI, a film directed by Ashvin Meshram from Nigeria, won the Best Picture and the Special Jury Prize. The film shows the voiceless girl Eni in a remote village of 21st-century Africa, where modern times have not had much influence. When the turbulence of love enters her life, she has no way other than to trust her sympathisers. But no one could guess the power of the love that was there.

Polish director Paweł Podlejski won the Best Director Award, as well as the Best Screenplay Award for his film Consolation. The film is a meeting of two generations shaped by different views on life and experiences. The emigration is shown as a screen reflecting their failures and hopes.

The film World Peace also won two awards, for Best Original Concept and Best Music. The film showed how the major world religions differed significantly, but they all look for answers to questions about the meaning of life, and the origin and future of our existence.

Italian film The Last Sun of the Night, directed by Matteo Scarfò, won the Best Cinematography Award.

The Best Documentary Award was given to One Way Home, directed by Chinese filmmaker Qingzi Fan. The film is about loss of identity, language, and culture of Tibetan children taken to China to create China’s new elite in Tibet.

Best Short Film was given to Two Brothers, which showed the violence and injustice inflicted on people of Punjab by the state in the 90s during the insurgency.

The End of Wind won in Best Art Direction, while the shortest film of all in the festival, Gull at one minute and 43 seconds, directed by Doug Kass Odessa, won the Best Editing Award. The Audience Award went to Mum, and the film Karma received Special Mention at the festival.

During the opening of the festival, the organisation Waste Warriors was given the Free Spirit Award 2017 for working towards the vision of a clean India. They organise door-to-door collection of recyclable and non-recyclable waste, weekly clean-ups of tourist trails, education programs with local schools, and approach local and state-level authorities to discuss and advocate for implementation of sustainable waste management practices.


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