Category Archives: Press releases

Press Releases from the Free Spirit Film Festival.

Thirteenth Free Spirit Film Festival

The 13th edition of the Free Spirit Film Festival is starting from Friday, with 25 films from around the world. Fourteen of the films are from India in various genres.

Organisers say the 25 films have been selected from over a hundred film submissions. Some of the film directors and producers will be joining the festival.

“I am thankful to all those who believe in us and submit their films in our festival. Because of limited time we had to disappoint many by being unable to accept their excellent films — they would have made it into the festival had we had more time,” said festival director Lobsang Wangyal

He promised exciting new films in the lineup, and says that the festival is not to be missed by film enthusiasts.

The films are from various genres — some based on true stories, some fictions, and some abstracts. There will be four feature films, two documentaries, and the rest are in short film categories.

There will be 13 awards, including the Audience Award, given to honour and celebrate the best of the films.

The annual Free Spirit Award will be presented during the opening of the festival. This award was started in 2003 to recognise and honour people working to make a difference in people’s lives. The annual award is marked by presentation of a certificate with an inscription summing up the work of the honoured receiver.

Wangyal says, “The festival has been a labour of love, and is financed from the Director’s own pocket.”

Screening of the films will begin at 6pm every evening from Friday, 27th October, for five days at Hotel Tibet. Each evening will have five films — one feature film and four shorter ones — and the evening’s duration will be about two and a half hours.

Eleventh Free Spirit Film Festival

The 11th edition of the Free Spirit Film Festival will commence from Thursday for three days in McLeod Ganj.

A total of 15 independent films from around the world in all genres will be screened.

We were overwhelmed with film submissions this year. It was difficult to make the choices, understanding the hard works of all the filmmakers, who of course would like their films screened everywhere. It was difficult not to include all the films in the Festival.

Since we don’t choose a specific theme for the Festival, we look at each film for its originality in concept, uniqueness in presentation, and difference in approach for approving the selection. The chorus of voices from the selected films gives a natural theme to the Festival — about our own lives, beliefs and imaginations.

The array of films being screened at the festival reflects the above. In particular, the documentary Poverty, Inc is not to be missed. This film investigates the multi-billion dollar Western “poverty industry”, and its interventions in the developing world.

As in past Festivals, we have thirteen Awards chosen by a grand jury, and an Audience Award chosen by the filmgoers.

The Free Spirit Film Festival was the first and the original annual film festival in McLeod Ganj. It was launched by Lobsang Wangyal Productions in 2004. The festival is also known as McLeod Ganj International Film Festival.

The Festival is aimed at sharing beautiful stories, concerns, interests, and creativity. The Festival particularly promotes independent filmmakers.

Manifesting true “free spirit”, the Festival has no boundaries, and screens films in all genres from all over the world.

Lobsang Wangyal

Tenth edition of the Free Spirit Film Festival

The tenth edition of the Free Spirit Film Festival is celebrating its ten-year milestone starting on Saturday with 30 films from around the world. There will be three world premières and one India première.

The festival will go on for five days in McLeod Ganj, according to the organisers.

Free Spirit Film Festival is an annual event held in McLeod Ganj to promote the joy, beauty and power of cinema. Aimed at sharing beautiful stories, concerns, interests, and creativity, the festival honours and promotes independent filmmakers from around the world.

The festival will be opened with Plundering Tibet [India Premiere] — A personal take on mining in Tibet, directed by Michael Buckley from Canada. The documentary shows the dire consequences of China’s ruthless mining in Tibet.

The festival will close with Umformung — The Transformation, directed by Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar from Kolkata. The film is a story of intense dimensions with two parallel stories: One, that of a Buddhist monk in a search for his inner truths, and the other is that of a female city builder whose belief in life is all about power, greed, and manipulation.

There will be thirteen film awards chosen by a grand jury, and an Audience Award decided by the film-goers.

The winner of the Free Spirit Award 2014 will be announced at the opening of the film festival. The Award is given to show appreciation for people working for peace and justice, social, and environmental issues around the world. The Free Spirit Award was started in 2003.

The Film Festival was started by Lobsang Wangyal, a social entrepreneur, in 2004, showing a wide variety of film genres, encapsulating the free spirit nature of the festival. Wangyal is known for producing other popular events such as Miss Tibet Pageant, Miss Himalaya Pageant, and Tibetan Music Awards.

The festival will be held for five days, from 25 to 29 October, at the Tibetan Day School at Dolma Chowk, McLeod Ganj, from 5 pm onwards.

Website of the festival: