Free Spirit Film Festival 2011

The 7th Annual Free Spirit Film Festival 2011
29 to 31 October 2011
McLeod Ganj, India

Festival cancelled to honour Tibetan immolators

The 7th Annual Free Spirit Film Festival, scheduled for 29 to 31 October in McLeod Ganj, has been cancelled. The director of the festival, Lobsang Wangyal, announced this on Tuesday.

Lobsang said that due to the critical situation in Tibet, the mood is subdued and calls for prayer and to honour the Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for a free Tibet. The time isn't right for festivities.

Ten Tibetans set themselves on fire in Ngaba and Tawo regions of eastern Tibet this year to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet and called for the return of the Dalai Lama. Five of the nine immolators have died from their injuries. One among them was a 20-year-old nun — Tenzin Wangmo, who died on 17 October.

The festival has, therefore, been cancelled to stand in solidarity with those who gave up their lives for the Tibetan cause and those who continue to suffer under the harsh Chinese rule in Tibet.

The Free Spirit Film Festival has become a highlight of the budding film culture in McLeod Ganj. It's the only annual film festival that screens some of the most unique selection of films from around the world. Many of the films may never be seen again even on big cinema screens.

The festival, first started in 2004, screens a diverse range of films — feature, short, documentary, music video, animation and experimental, of any length — to expose people to different ideas, cultures, art, movements and activism from all over the world.

The films that had been finalised this year — Objet-Trouvé and Journey of a Dream — will be screened in next year's festival.

The team members

Original festival announcement

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