The 7th Mussoorie Writers Mountain Festival was held at Woodstock School from 22-25 October, 2015.  The primary theme was “Women and Mountains.” More than twenty speakers gave illustrated talks, readings and presentations.  Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb all fourteen peaks over 8,000 meters in altitude without supplemental oxygen, was the keynote speaker.

Amrita Tripathi, Paro Anand, Bernadette McDonald, Patrick French, Silvo Karo, Mandip Singh Soin, Mirella Tenderini and many others shared their stories with the audience.  Soulmate, a blues band from Shillong, gave a rousing concert on the opening night, and folk performers from Uttarakhand put on the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Leela performance at the Hanifl Centre and along the Mussoorie Mall Road.

Three exhibitions were held, including paintings by Tobit Roche and photographs by Martushka Fromeast and Mukesh Khugsal, as well was a display of the entries from the photo essay contest.

The Banff Film Festival World Tour was screened in Parker Hall, as the first event on the program and Nomadak Tx, a Spanish film was the concluding event.  On both 23 and 24 October, a “mela” was held in conjunction with the festival, with handicrafts, food stalls and other activities.  Before and after the festival a number workshops were held at Woodstock, during which presenters had an opportunity to interact with students in the classroom.

The final day of the festival included nature walks at Jabarkhet Nature Reserve and the running of the Mussoorie Half Marathon.  Altogether, the entire event was a concentrated celebration of our Himalayan environment, over the course of four exciting and memorable days.

Special thanks to Marta Lopez Fesser, who was assistant director of the 2015 festival.

A Glimpse of 7th Mussoorie Writers Mountain Festival