New Delhi, Dec 20 (PTI) The picturesque environs of Ladakh is set to host the highest altitude film festival of the world, at 13,500 ft above sea level, in June next year. The Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) from June 15th to June 17th 2012 is aimed at creating a niche for cinema enthusiasts from around the world to visit and experience the best of world cinema in the magical environs of Ladakh, organisers said in a statement. Chaired by veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, festival patrons include Deputy Director General, Cannes Festival, Christian Jeune, President of British Federation of Film Societies, Derek Malcolm and Director, Copenhagen Film Festival, Jacob Neiiendam. “The effort is to create a festival that is totally distinct from other film festivals. Ladakh is a unique and apt venue for LIFF.
The aspiration is to make it one of the best and exclusive film festivals on the roof of the world,” Benegal said in a statement. Filmmakers Govind Nihalani, Shekhar Kapur, Vishal Bhardwaj, Mike Pandey, Ketan Mehta, Madhur Bhandarkar, Deepti Naval and Nitin Desai are among the other patrons of the festival directed by Melwyn Williams Chirayath. ‘Schan’ – The Snow Leopard has been chosen as mascot of the festival, which aims to raise awareness on protecting the rare and endangered animal. The festival would screen films under Indian Cinema, World Cinema, Competition section and Ladakh section. Short films, animation films, documentaries and feature films are included in the competition section while the Ladakh section is open to residents of Ladakh and films made on Ladakh in all formats including mobile phones. The last date for entries is April 1, 2012.