Exploring Cinema Beyond Bars: International Film Festival Comes to Kanda and Nahan Prisons
Shimla, September 8, 2023
The picturesque hills of Shimla are about to witness a cinematic extravaganza as the Three Days International Film Festival of Shimla opens its doors to movie enthusiasts worldwide. In an innovative move, the 9th edition of this internationally acclaimed festival will feature special screenings at the Model Central Jail Kanda and Nahan, alongside its main venue at the Gaiety Theatre in Shimla. This marks the sixth time the International Film Festival of Shimla (IFFS) has expanded to include multiple venues, but the inclusion of prison screenings is a groundbreaking step towards connecting the incarcerated with the world of cinema and nurturing their creative spirits.
The decision to host screenings within prison walls is driven by the aim to bridge the gap between the outside world and the lives of prisoners through the medium of film. Incarcerated individuals often face isolation from the outside world, which can exacerbate feelings of depression and institutionalization. By involving them in events like this, IFFS hopes to inspire and motivate these individuals who are seeking their place in society.
Mr. Pushp Raj Thakur, Festival Director of IFFS, expressed his enthusiasm for this unique initiative, stating, “Expanding our festival to unconventional venues is an exciting endeavor. As Mahatma Gandhi wisely said, ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner.’ This opportunity allows us to bring the magic of cinema to unexpected places and engage with audiences in a profound manner. Prisoners deserve opportunities to explore the world beyond their confinement, and cinema is a powerful tool that can provide glimpses of contemporary society, ignite creativity, and foster learning and self-improvement among inmates.”
The Three Days International Film Festival of Shimla has consistently held a distinguished position on the cultural calendar, celebrating cinema from India and across the globe. The inclusion of Model Central Jail Kanda and Nahan as screening venues marks a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and artistic appreciation in unconventional spaces. These prisons will host screenings, creating a unique blend of jail environment and the creative world of cinema. Festival attendees will have the chance to interact with inmates, bridging the divide between society and those behind bars, offering a unique perspective on life within prison walls.
The festival lineup includes a diverse selection of films from 20 countries and 24 states, encompassing short films, documentaries, and feature films. This promises a captivating cinematic journey for the audience.
The Three Days International Film Festival of Shimla is an annual event organized by Himalayan Velocity in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Department of Language, Art, and Culture of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. The festival celebrates cinema from across the world, offering a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their work and connect with a diverse audience. Beyond cinema, the festival aims to promote cultural exchange and inclusivity.
For more details about the 9th International Film Festival of Shimla, you can visit our website at [www.iffs.in](www.iffs.in).