Summer Pasture is a feature-length documentary that chronicles one summer with a young family amidst a period of great uncertainty. Locho, his wife Yama, and their infant daughter, nicknamed Jiatomah ('pale chubby girl'), spend the summer months in eastern Tibet's Zachukha grasslands, an area known as Wu-Zui or '5-Most,' – the highest, coldest, poorest, largest, and most remote county in Sichuan Province, China. The story of a family at a crossroads, Summer Pasture takes place at a critical time in Locho and Yama's lives, as they question their future as nomads. As their pastoral traditions confront rapid modernization, Locho and Yama must reconcile the challenges that threaten to drastically reshape their existence.
Lynn True (Director/Producer/Editor)
Lynn True is a New York based filmmaker and editor with a particular interest in nonfiction storytelling. After growing up in South Korea, India, Chicago, Washington D.C., Arizona’s Hopi reservation and suburban Oregon, Lynn settled in New York City. She received a joint degree in Urban Studies & Architecture from Brown University and began her film career as an assistant editor at NBC News and PBS. She has since gone on to make independent films including iThemba|Hope (Sundance Channel, 2005) and LUMO (Student Academy Award winner, PBS’s P.O.V. series, 2007). Most recently, Lynn has also served as a film programmer at New York’s Maysles Cinema in Harlem where She and Nelson Walker are co-founders and directors of the Tibet in Harlem and Congo in Harlem film festivals.
Nelson Walker (Director/Producer/Cinematographer)
Nelson Walker began his career working on documentaries for Discovery Channel, History Channel, and PBS’s NOVA. His directorial debut, iThemba|Hope – a documentary about an HIV+ choir from South Africa – aired on Sundance Channel in 2005. Nelson has worked extensively in Tibet, as a visiting instructor at Tibet University in Lhasa and contributor to the Tibetan & Himalayan Library. His most recent film, Lumo – about a young Congolese woman recovering from a traumatic fistula – won a Student Academy Award for Best Documentary, the President’s Award at the Full Frame Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS’s P.O.V. series in 2007. Nelson holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University.
Family Instinct is a film about incest – social taboos and a violation of religious norms. Zanda is a 28-year-old woman, trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Valdis is serving a year's sentence in prison for physically abusing them. Family Instinct follows Zanda for the duration of that year as she tries to cope with the hardships of poverty and the frequently drunken attentions of several local men. During the year the local community forces her to make a difficult choice: to stay with Valdis or with her children. The film is structured around the impending release of Valdis. Family Instinct is at times shocking and heartbreaking in its depiction of life on the edge, but its central characters nevertheless display a wonderful sense of humour and even optimism in the face of terrible adversity.
Andris Gauja learnt filmmaking at the Latvian Academy of Culture. His other films include Victor, 3000 km to Promised Land, By a Hair, Extraordinary Issues. Family instinct has won awards and been screened in several film festivals. He has also worked in theatre.
The Desert Eats Us
Since the 1990s, Nepal has provided a pipeline of cheap labour to the Gulf. Migration has emptied the country’s villages of its young men, leaving its fields to be tended by women and the elderly. This film is about young men who set out to escape family woes and poverty in the alien and stultifying conditions of the Qatari desert, but at a high cost. Their meager wages of US$ 5 to 7 a day for 12-hour workdays sustain one out of two Nepali households, and remittances of US$ 4 billion dollars prop up the country. Theirs is an admirable mission, a test of luck and resilience. The film shows glimpses of gritty migrant conditions in Qatar, rarely captured on camera, given its and the other Gulf states’ sensitivity to criticism of how they treat their foreign workers. This is a story of disillusionment, and, sometimes, empowerment, the upheaval and fractures of family life, caused by long absences, reflecting the enormity of the Nepali migrant’s journey.
Kesang Tseten’s Hami Kunako Manchhe (We Corner People) won awards at Kimff '06 and the Slovenia International Mountain Film Festival’07; On the Road with the Red God: Machhendranath won the Grand Prize at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival '06, Mention at the Bilan du Ethnographique, and was voted Best Documentary of the Decade by the Nepal Motion Pictures Association '05. Frames of War, which Tseten produced and co-directed, won the Best Film Award in Nepal Panorama at Kimff 2008. Saving Dolma won the Audience Award at Kimff ‘10. The Desert Eats Us had its international premiere at the International Leipzig Documentary & Animation Film Festival in October ‘11.
Journey to Yarsa
The film tells the story of a family from Rukum joining the expedition to collect yarsagumba in the high mountains under harsh conditions. The film won the Tareque Masud Best Debut Film Award at Film Southasia 2011.
Dipendra Bhandari received his diploma in television production from A-AVAS in 1998 and is executive producer for Adventure Nepal Production, based in Kathmandu.
Kimff 2011 Jury
Helena Mielonen is a cultural producer based in Helsinkj, Finland, working especially in the field of documentary film. She holds a master’s degree in cultural management. She has previously worked as the festival coordinator of DocPoint- Helsinkl Documentary Film Festival, producer of Lens Politica- Film and Media Art Festival as well as in several documentary films productions. Currently she is working for kinocompany as a production coordinator the head of marketing. She is also an active member of NISI MASA- European Network of young Cinema and a board member in Finnish film association Euphoria Borelis.
Sanjeev Upreti is a scholar, critic, actor, newspaper columnist and an associate professor of English at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. His academic and creative writigns have been published both at home and abroad. Given his interest in the creative arts, Sanjeev chairs Lasaana, an alternative art space, and has coordinated an interacting mapping and archival project (IMAP) for digitalizing art and the other related materials of Nepal. His nepali novel Ghanchakkar was adopted into a play. He has acted as the lead character in several plays. His teaching and research interests are broad and include archival studies, urban studies, asculinity studies, cultures of globalization, travel narratives, creative writing, mythologies, theatre studies and art criticism.
John Innerdale is an architect, mountaineer, landscape painter and bee keeper based in the English Lake District. A lifetime of walking, climbing and painting in the UK, Alps, Norway, Pyrenees, Himalaya and Patagonia has helped him understand and interpret mountain architecture. Currently he is member of The Alpine Club, The Climb- ers Club and previously The Austrian Alpine Club, and a trustee and past Chairman of the Mountain Heritage Trust. He was curator of the National Mountaineering Exhibition from 2001 to 2007. He also worked as Artistic Director (2004-2009), jury member and chairman of Kendal Mountain Film Festival (2002- 2009).