LIFF warm-up party in the lap of nature

Leh, Sep 13 (IANS) The peaceful surroundings, a sky dotted with twinkling stars, a chill in the air, a warm bonfire and some drinks - the setting for a pre-bash ceremony for the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF) here seemed like a perfect warm-up.

Ladakhi and foreign filmmakers, along with noted names from Indian filmdom like Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Rekha Bhardwaj, Aparna Sen, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Usha Jadhav and Ravi Kemmu added charm to the casual get-together, where most of them went cheers after cheers here Thursday night.

There was film talk and more - the do's and don'ts in Ladakh in the Jammu and Kashmir, the must visit places, health advice...so on and so forth. But a whole lot of excitement was evident among the local filmmakers, who were happy to meet popular filmmakers from India's entertainment hub, Mumbai.

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Sari talk in Leh, eh?

Acclaimed filmmaker Aparna Sen and celebrated singer Rekha Bhardwaj were caught in some interesting girly conversation as they warmed themselves up near a bonfire here Thursday night. The topic was to wear or not to wear a sari!

Sen, who heads the head at the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF), which begins here Friday, looked chic and smart in a black overcoat matched with an interesting neckpiece. But it seems she is travelling heavy on Kanjeevaram saris for the film fest.

One happened to overhear her offering to lend to Rekha a sari to wear one of the days. A rare gesture indeed. Whether Rekha chose to accept the offer or not will be clear over one of the three days of the gala.

All said and done, both the ladies exude much elegance!

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Can't have enough of Ladakh: Mehra

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is so smitten with the beauty of Ladakh that he keeps wanting to come back even after doing so each year for the past several years.

"I have been coming here every year since a lot of years. And this place calls you back. It's never enough to be here...it's beautiful," Mehra said here during a casual tete-a-tete.

He is here for the festival premiere of his last release "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" at the second edition of the Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF), which started here Friday.

The movie, a biopic on former athlete Milkha Singh, features actor Farhan Akhtar. It was well-received at the box office, and Mehra hopes for the same from the audience at the LIFF.

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