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30 may 2012 004Dharamshala: The Dharamshala Film Festival, the first of its kind to be organized in Mcleodganj, kicked off yesterday with a collection of splendid, thought provoking films. The films are being screened at the 500-seat auditiorium of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts on TIPA Road in Mcleod Ganj.

The Film festival which centers around the theme "Celebrating Consciousness and Creativity in Film" showcases five films each day over the course of three days; the 29th, the 30th and the 31st of May.

The 29th of May, saw the inauguration of the film festival with tickets promptly going on sale at 4.30. The first film, ‘What Would It Look Like?', was a visual treat which reflected on the state of the world, the consumerist attitude of people and it posed a very simple question: What if the world embodied our highest potential? What would it look like?

The second film, 'Brilliant Moon: Glimpses of Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche' was a biopic on one of Tibet's most revered 20th-century teachers, Dilgo Khyentse. This gifted Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism had served as a spiritual guru to the Dalai Lama and the royal family of Bhutan.

The next film, ‘Jaadu', explores the musical collaboration between Titi Robin, a French guitarist, oud and bouzouki player and Faiz Ali Faiz, the renowned Pakistani Qawwali master. Through this musical experiment which transcends beyond emotion and spirituality, the movie explores Sufism and the main ideology behind it.

After a short ten minute break, the film ‘Crossing Over: The Art of Jeremy Down' was screened. It captured the near death experience of artist, Jeremy Down and the impact it has had on his painting.

The last film to be screened was ‘City of the Dawn', a film about the Internal community set up at Pondicherry, South India. The film traced the transformation of the major aspects of this human experience called Auroville as they continue to unfold dynamically.

All the partcipants were asked to vote for their favourite films in order to recognize excellence in films through ‘The Viewers Choice Awards'.Two additional workshops are also being organized in conjunction with the fest: a Tibetan Thangka Painting Workshop (May31) and a Music Meditation Concert (June1).

Overall, the first day of the 1st Annual Dharamsala Film Festival can be described as profound and entertaining, with a good selection of films and an even deeper thought process behind them all.

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