Ladakh, India, is home to the highest international film festival in the world—it’s held in the Himalayas.
The Ladakh International Film Festival was inaugurated in 2012.
The festival, the first in the area, is held annually in the Ladakh region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India, in a town called Leh. The town is in the Himalaya’s at an altitude of more than 11,000 feet, making it the highest-altitude film festival in the world.
The festival is partnered with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust, and offers the Snow Leopard Trophy for the most educational or inspiring film about an endangered species. Wildlife conservation is a major theme at the festival.
The first festival had 28 films competing for the Snow Leopard Trophy and prize money of one million rupees. Categories of films at the 2013 festival included features, documentaries, short films, international films, Ladakh films, student films, and children's films.
It might seem like a random location for a film festival, but the founders have their reasons. Their website explains it as follows:
“We shot for a film in Ladakh way back in 2008. There was a cloudburst after this and an entire village washed away. We also wrote few articles in the papers and magazines which received a huge response. This made us think that lots of people have been exploiting Ladakh but no one contributes back. This contemplation led to the festival. Later we discovered its good package of great destination and good cinema. Thus many joined hands with us.”