Leh: Sept. 13, 2013. VisitLadakh.com -Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) was jointly launched by J&K Minister for Urban Development Nawang Rigzin Jora, veteran Bollywood lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar and Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Rigzin Spalbar today at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra Leh amid galaxy of personalities from all walk of life.
The three-day festival being organized for second consecutive year features an elaborate programme ranging from screening famous international, national and local films and documentaries of selected films. To inspire the Ladakhi filmmakers, selected local films under special Ladakh section are also being screened.
Nawang Rigzin Jora in his address expressed immense pleasure and joy over organizing such an important and successful event for second year in succession, and he felt that Ladakh being chosen as the venue for such international film festival is a matter of great pride for J&K in general and Ladakh in particular.
Minister said, cinema in general has had great impact on Ladakh’s economy in terms of attracting tourists in large number particularly after the film ‘ 3 Idiots’ which was majorly shot in Ladakh, and great film personalities like Gulzar, Aparna Sen, Vishal Bharadwaj and Rakesh Om Prakash visiting this region only reinforce such development and expressed hope that the filmmakers would continue to Ladakh with bigger film projects which would ultimately help in the growth of Ladakh’s economy. He expressed gratitude for having such an important event organized in Ladakh by a team led by Melvyn, the festival director.
On the occasion CEC LAHDC Leh Rigzin Spalbar speaking high of holding the film festival here for the second consecutive years with special focus on conservation of local fragile environment urged upon the filmmakers to chose this as an important theme in their future ventures. The other objective of holding the LIFF here is an attempt to bring Ladakh on the map of tourist destination so as to make it an important destination for national and international filmmakers besides it is for the local aspirants to learn a great deal from such experiences, he added. Spalbar appreciated the spirit of Melvyn and Meghna in making the festival a great success with primary objective to sensitize the people about the significance of clean environment through the medium of cinema.
Gulzar in his address expressed joy over participating in such an event being held at an altitude considered as the highest in the world. He said, it is a beginning of a new era of opportunities wherein the young filmmakers particularly from Ladakh could explore new ideas. He was also happy for his debut film “Mere Apnay” being screened as the premiere show of the festival.
The festival was also attended by Afghanistan Ambassador in India Mr. Rabdali among others, and he felt that the cinema is an important medium for significant cultural exchanges and reviving historical ties. He said, Hindi films are extremely popular in their country and people can know and understand Hindi watching Indian films. He also mentioned about the similar geographical features of Ladakh to that with Afghanistan and he was happy for that as well.
Renown filmmakers such as Arpana Sen, Vishal Bardwaj, Rakesh Omprakash also spoke on the occasion about the unique experience they have had on such a location at such a height.
The Festival Director Melvyn in his welcome address said that LIFF apart from making Ladakh a hub of International films committed to preserve the fragile ecology of this isolated region by sensitizing the younger generations through an online social campaign.
The Executive Councilor Agri. Sonam Dorjey, Executive Councilor Tourism, Mohd. Shafi Lassu, MLC, Norbu Gyalson, former MP, P. Namgyal, Councilors, DC, Leh, Simrandeep Singh, SP, Leh, Vivek Gupta, film personalities, films makers from bollywood and local film industry and top ranking civil officers attended the inaugural function.