Mumbai: National award winning actress and director Aparna Sen will head the jury of the second Ladakh International Film Festival (LIFF), to be held from July 5 to 7.

The focus of LIFF this year is 'women in cinema' with the tag line "celebrating womanhood."

The festival will be inaugurated by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari will be the chief guest for the closing ceremony.

"LIFF is definitely a film festival with a difference. Some of the most exciting recently made films will be viewed, discussed and awarded by some of the best filmmakers of the world at an incomparable venue high up amidst snowy mountain ranges," LIFF jury chairperson Aparna Sen said.

Aparna Sena and Shyam Benegal

The Green Carpet premiere this year will be of the film on South Asia's great freedom fighter, nationalist Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan - 'The Frontier Gandhi' - by American documentary filmmaker Teri McLuhan.

"The LIFF which will be two years old when it takes place this year, has already found place among the recognised film festivals of the world," LIFF chairman Shyam Benegal said.

Festival founder and director Melwyn Chirayath said this year they will try to encourage participation of nearly 100 countries across the globe. Over 1.6 lakh footfalls, 150 plus filmmakers and film dignitaries from around the world attended the first ever international event held in Leh, Ladakh last year.

"To watch films in one of the most pristine landscapes in the world is a rare pleasure which only the Ladakh film festival offers. One walks out of the auditorium and is surrounded by mountains on all sides, it's almost surreal. What makes it even more special this year is the retrospective on Gulzar saab. It will be an honour for me to curate this event which showcases some of his best work," LIFF patron member Vishal Bhardwaj said.