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Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2016
Event Type:
Film Festival
8-12 December, 2016

First Prize International Competition

Urmila – My Memory is My Power

dir. Susan Gluth | 86 min | Germany 2016

The film presents an intimate and touching portrayal of Urmila’s quest for justice and her dream to end child slavery in Nepal in an unusual way. This young woman fights with admirable energy against centuries-old social structures through political activities. Her experiences drive her to assume responsibility for others, but must also think of herself. First, she must break through the control of those around her and fight against the inner demons of her past to begin to make her own life choices.

Second Prize International Competition

Trembling Mountain

dir.Kesang Tseten | 83 min | Nepal 2016

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the Langtang region, especially changed by the resulting avalanche, responds to the challenge of resettlement, in the process revealing the nature of the people and the transformation of the once tranquil Himalayan hidden valley.

Third Prize International Competition

Verso l’ignoto
(Through the Unknown)

dir.Federico Santini | 75 min | Italy 2016

What motivates an individual to challenge the void? Why would one decide to suffer cold, discomfort, bad weather, and inhuman toil? Three years dedicated to a visionary project: the winter ascent of Nanga Parbat. This is the story of a unique adventure. Against a spectacular backdrop of mountain scenery, extreme challenges, and bitter defeats.

Jury Special Mention

Coming of Age

dir. Teboho Edkins | 63 min | South Africa 2015

“Coming of Age” is a film that follows four teenagers over the course of two years as they grow up deep in the southern African mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Very little happens in the village of Ha Sekake, but from their perspective, a lot is at stake.

Il Passo

dir. Mattia Colombo | 52 min | Italy 2016

Gabriele, thirteen years old and with no actual mountain life experience, chooses to spend the summer in a mountain pasture. He joins a family of herdsmen and goes up with them to the high pastures, where cows can find clean air and fine grass. He is the youngest member of the team, and he is both aware and proud of this, although often at night he becomes melancholy and texts his mother.

When, by the end of the rainiest July in a long time, Gabriel has become Claudio’s right-hand man, something has changed: the scared small boy who used to keep to himself, his eyes downcast while playing with the Swiss army knife, has turned into a little adult, who can take on his responsibilities and tries to stand up on his own.

ICIMOD Mountain Film Award

Sponsored by ICIMOD

A Song for Barpak

dir. Pradip Pokharel | 50 min | Nepal 2016

Barpak in Gorkha, the epicenter of the earthquake that devastated pockets of Nepal in April 2015, is struggling to come to terms with the tragedy that flattened most of the village and caused untimely deaths. Rather than dwell on the past, locals draw on the region’s tradition of music and song to rouse them from the tragedy and to look to the future. Creative artist Salil Subedi visited Barpak before and after the quake and is part of that experience. Director Pradip Pokharel’s documentary is testament to the resilient villagers of Barpak and their road to recovery.

Nepal Panorama

Best Fiction

Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha

dir. Pooja Gurung & dir. Bibhusan Basnet| 16 min | Nepal 2016

Atimaley and Devi’s village is haunted by memories. When a dear friend leaves the village without saying “goodbye”, the old couple faces a dilemma – to keep living with the memories or to leave the village for good?

Documentary Category:

In Search of Devaki

dir. Devaki Bista | 45 min | Nepal 2016

The Deuki practice in Nepal’s far western regions involves offering a young girl, and in the past a young boy, to a temple by a family or clan seeking religious merit and the fulfillment of a wish. It was outlawed in Nepal more than thirty years ago as an archaic practice that undermines the rights and dignity of women. Still, the practice exists today – although surreptitiously. Devaki Bista, a young journalist from the region grew up hearing about duekis. Intrifued by the social, cultural, and religious aspects surroundings the practice, she embarks on a journey to learn, film, and investigate more about this ancient custom.

Audience Award


dir. Lloyd Belcher | 42 min | Taiwan/Nepal 2016

“Mira” follows the journey of a spirited Nepali village girl on her pursuit to being a world-recognised mountain runner. Growing up in a remote village in Nepal, Mira always dreamed of being successful in sports. When she was older she travelled the long distance to Kathmandu to try her luck. Realizing that she would not be able to support herself financially, she was deciding to return home to her village, when by chance on a morning run, she meets another runner who tells her about a long running race in the local hills. She not only takes first place but also begins to realize her tough mountain village upbringing has prepared her perfectly for this sport. This short, colourful documentary, filmed in Hong Kong, Nepal and Australia, tells the story of Mira’s speedy rise in the world of mountain running.

Special Jury Mention

Beyond the White Cane

dir. Badri Neupane & dir. Upendra Raj Pandey | 28 min | Nepal 2015

This is a character centered documentary which chronicles a day of Mr. Ram Prasad Bhandari. Despite being blind and old, he walks for twelve hours a day and covers 20 km carrying heavy loads in order to take care of his seven-member family. Apart from this, he makes candles and weaves bamboo stools to supplement his income and sustain his livelihood.