The Kosovo feature film entry Agnus Dei directed by Agim Sopi in Albanian with English subtitles was adjudged as the best picture at the 10th Free Spirit Film Festival which concluded at Mecleodganj, in Dharamsala on Wednesday night. Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar was declared the best director for his feature film Umformung – The Transformation, an Indian entry at the film. The film in Hindi had English subtitles.
Miss Tibet , Miss Himalaya , and Tibetan Music Awards famed organizer and Social entrepreneur Lobsang Wangyal – the brain behind the Free Spirit Film Festival said, “Free Spirit Film Festival is an annual event being held since 2004 in McLeod Ganj , which honours and promotes independent filmmakers from around the world.”
Wangyal added that during this year’s long five days 10 th film festival (October 25 to 29) , at all 30 films were screened at Tibetan Day School, McLeod Ganj and 13 award winner films were announced at the closing ceremony. The fugitive whistle blower Edward Snowden in absentia was conferred the Free Spirit Award 2014. “Mr Snowden, in temporary asylum in Russia due to cancellation of his passport by the US, was unable to be here in person to receive it,” said Wangyal.
“The Free Spirit Award 2014 is being given to Edward Snowden for letting us all know about extensive world-wide surveillance by the government of the United States, with its accompanying destruction of the basic human right of privacy,” read the award plaque.
An Australian feature film in English ‘Eight’ directed by Peter Blackburn was adjudged to have the best screenplay.
The Israel / German documentary film Kyrie in English directed by Holger Klussmann picked up the best cinematography award.
The Tibet / Canada documentary film Plundering Tibet by Michael Buckley was announced as the best documentary film at the award ceremony.
A film from Israel, The Visit directed by Inbar Horesh in Hebrew/Arabic/Russian with English subtitles was handed the best short film award.
The French short film entry Tete-aTete – Head to Head directed by Lisa Reznik bagged the best editing award.
The Best Music award was taken by the Hindi feature film Umformung – The Transformation.
For Best Art Direction, the jury awarded the Peru/Turkey short film entry Dimensions directed by Okan Caliskan.
The silent fantasy film An Admirer’s Gift by Indian filmmaker Nikhil was given the best original concept award.
This film festival was opened up with the India Premiere of the film Plundering Tibet — A personal take on mining in Tibet. The documentary shows the dire consequences of China’s ruthless mining in Tibet.