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Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2015
Event Type:
Film Festival
10-14 December, 2015

First Prize International Competition

Tashi and the Monk

dir. Andrew Hinton & dir. Johnny Burke | 40 min | UK/India 2014

In a remote community in the foothills of the Himalayas, a former monk struggles under the weight of his calling. Once a spiritual teacher in the U.S., Lobsang returned to India to create a community for orphaned and neglected children. Tashi, the newest arrival and youngest child with a troubled past and alcoholic father, acts out and challenges her elders every step of the way. But there is a spark in her that Lobsang sees clearly: a person inside the hurt, abandoned child with the potential to blossom and grow. His patience and compassion for Tashi comes from a deeper place than mere sympathy; he was a wild and troubled orphan himself once. The portrait of Lobsang and his family of 84 children is a short and lovely reminder that while there is a lot of darkness in the world, there are also beautiful shining points of light

Second Prize International Competition


dir.Pawel Wysoczanski | 73 min | Poland 2015

On 24 October 1989, Jerzy Kukuczka died during an expedition on Lhotse. It was the first time the team went to the Himalayas with money and equipment. By then he was famous.

The documentary by Paweł Wysoczański does not, however, concentrate on the mystery of the Himalayan mountaineer’s death. It shows a person who climbs, higher and higher – literally, but also metaphorically and symbolically. From a bootblack to a millionaire, from a socialist worker to an international media star, from the man who climbs without any money and equipment to becoming a competitor of Reinhold Messner, Jerzy’s mountaineering achievements are arguably the most impressive in history

Third Prize International Competition

Piesn Pasterza
(Shepherd’s Song)

dir. Vahram Mkhitaryan | 30 min | Poland/Armenia 2014

Somewhere in the high mountains of Armenia, there lives a blind shepherd Khachik. In spite of all the adversities, he has a family and leads a quiet life, single-handedly herding his goats on the steep slopes. However, when it turns out that his only son is losing his sight and has to move to Yerevan to attend a school for the blind, Khachik faces a dilemma: should he keep on living the life of a humble shepherd, or should he move to the capital city too to be with his son? This is a difficult choice as he strongly believes that blindness is a curse hanging over his family, and it can only be lifted by living a devout life in the mountains.

ICIMOD Mountain Film Award

Sponsored by ICIMOD


dir. Rajan Kathet | 74 min | Nepal 2014

Set in the barren but breathtaking mountains of Mustang, in the Nepal Himalaya, Serdhak (The Golden Hill) tells the story of the everyday struggles of a hardy, high-altitude farming family, while depicting universal themes of love, longings, dreams and compromise.

Lhakpa, a young idealist and romantic, returns to his remote village with the hope of bringing modernity and progress there. But he must first learn to reconcile his city education with the harsh realities existing in the inhospitable terrain. A lone ramble up the mountains brings him back into contact with his childhood sweetheart Kunsang, who has now blossomed into a beautiful but enigmatic young woman. Initially, both maintain an appearance of disavowing their past but on a picnic with common friends their masks slip and reconciliation happens. Thereafter follows a brief spate of happiness as Lhakpa works on the farm, hangs out with Kunsang, and tries to fit into the pace of the village. But a sudden family bereavement and an offer of marriage for his sister means he must give up his dreams of becoming the first engineer of the village to take up full-time responsibilities of the farm.

Serdhak unfolds at a leisurely pace. The cast of non-professional actors adds a realist charm to the characters. Plentiful local customs, music and dance show a mountain people who, although outwardly as rugged as the environment they live in, have their own brand of humour and humanity.

Serdhak is the first Nepali film to be written and performed by Mustangis in their native Mustangi Tibetan language. It is the first Nepali film to be written and performed by Mustangis in their native Mustangi Tibetan language.

Nepal Panorama

Best Fiction

(A Slave)

dir. Arun Deo Joshi| 23 min | Nepal 2015

Kamaro is about a family, who are slaves to a landlord in Sinja Valley, Karnali Region of Western Nepal. It is the story about the suffering of a “Kamaro” (slave) and his family and how they, along with other slaves, are forced into sexual slavery.

Based on a story of the same title by award winning writer Mahesh Bikram Shah, the film is shot extensively in the Sinja Valley of Jumla District. The story reveals suffering of slavery borne by the protagonist “Adane” as a young child and an adult, where he has to face a similar fate even after decades.

The characters of the film are played mostly by local actors, who face the camera for the first time. Kamaro gives a local flavor, covers local context, and uses typical local language to give a realistic feel.

Documentary Category:

Bhagyale Bachekaharu
(Nepal Earthquake: Heroes, Survivors and Miracles)

dir. Ganesh Panday | 50 min | Nepal 2015

On 25 April and 12 May 2015, a devastating earthquake (7.8 on the Richer Scale) and its aftershocks struck Nepal leaving more than 9,000 dead, thousands injured, hundreds of people missing and others displaced. More than half a million houses were destroyed, heritage sites crumbled, transportation came to a halt, and people’s day-to- day activities were completely paralyzed.

Bhagyale Bachekaharu (Nepal Earthquake: Heroes, survivors, and Miracles) is the story of several individuals who miraculously survived the devastating earthquake. It also features interviews of Armed Police Force Inspector Laxman Basnet who rescued people; Nepal Army’s Deepak Rai and Bikas KC, who rescued a four-month- old baby; and National Poet Laureate Madhav Prasad Ghimire who survived both the 1934 and 2015 earthquakes.

The film is a historical document that vividly portrays the picture of the devastating situation in Nepal caused by the earthquake and its physical and psychological impact on the Nepalese people.

Audience Award

Heaven is Black

dir. Raj Kumar Rai | 3 min | Taiwan/Nepal 2015

The story is about children’s psychology and perception towards heaven. Among three boys, Buddhi decides to go to heaven.

Tama Gaun – The Copper Village

dir. Dipesh Kharel & dir. Frode Storaas | 30 min | Nepal 2015

The story is about children’s psychology and perception towards heaven. Among three boys, Buddhi decides to go to heaven.