Kimff 2017 Winner
Gyalmu's House by Asmita Shrish/Gavin Carver
Jaalgedi (A Curious Girl) by Rajesh Prasad Khatri
Jha Lo (Year of the End) by Shenang Gyamjo Tamang
The Last Honey Hunter by Ben Knight
Kahan Ka Rasta (At the Crossroads) by Savyasachi Anju Prabir
Monkey Business by Rewati Gurung
Blood Road by Nicholas Schrunk
Dhaulagiri, Ascenso a La Montana Blanca (Dhaulagiri, Ascent to the White Mountain)
Director: Guillermo Glass/ Cristian Harbaruk
Duration: 72 min
In the spring of 2008, four Argentine climbers — Guillermo, Christian, Sebastián and Darío — attempted to shoot a documentary climbing Mount Dhaulagiri. They never imagined that one of them, Darío, would disappear during his solitary attempt to summit the mountain. Nearly eight years later, still tormented by Dario’s death, Guillermo sets out to complete the unfinished documentary. With the original adventure not turning out as they had envisioned, Guillermo is now faced with questions of losing a friend. What went wrong? What were they seeking in the first place? How did they make individual decisions when faced with life-and-death situation? These questions drive Guillermo from his home in the Chubut Province of Argentina to Buenos Aires and Salta, where his other two surviving friends reside. Alternating between the grandeur of adventure and the intimacy of retrospection, this is a story of the path that winds upward, twists downward and leads inward.
ONE-LINER: A bunch of mountain climbers deal with the loss of their friend to Mount Dhaulagiri.
Born in Esquel in the Argentine Patagonia, Guillermo Glass graduated from University of Buenos Aires in 1998 with a degree in Image and Sound Design. Since then he has been working as a producer, uniting his two great passions — an intense contact with nature at its most indomitable and the audiovisual recording of such expeditions. His other works include Pissis Invernal (2006), Tupungato Invernal (2007) and Inacayal, la Negación de Nuestra Identidad (2011).
Born in Buenos Aires, Cristián Harbaruk studied Social Communications at University of Buenos Aires and is the founder of Malcine, a production company with a strong commitment to narrative documentary and fiction films. He is also the executive producer of Mater (2015) and the co-director of They Come for the Gold, They Come for It All (2011).
Director: Andy Cockrum
Duration: 80 min
Mountaineers Nima Dawa Sherpa and Kipa Sherpa have been to the top of Mount Everest. But now they strive for a new life in New York City. They are among thousand of other Sherpas in the city who are hard-working immigrants, some of whom are driving cabs, some selling imports at street market stalls and some chopping vegetables in the kitchens of Asian restaurants. The lives of these Sherpas offer a fresh perspective on the immigrant’s journey.
ONE-LINER: Sherpa mountaineers seek better lives as immigrants in New York.
Through his company Danger Dog Films, Andy Cockrum has produced and directed various projects including the documentary films Swim (2008), Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey (2007), and the upcoming documentary feature Oliver. He has also worked in the editorial and visual effects of films like Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), the Spy Kids films, the Sin City films and Machete Kills (2013). He is the founder of Project Oliver, a fundraising campaign which strives to build naturalistic habitats for captive chimpanzees, and a co-founder of The Sherpa Bridge Project, which helps build bridges, schools and health posts in Nepal.
Singing with Angry Bird
South Korea 2016
Director: Hyewon Jee
Duration: 88 min
Korean opera singer Jae-Chang Kim’s quick temper has earned him the nickname Angry Bird. Five years ago, he started the Banana Children’s Choir for kids living in the slums of Pune, India. Seeing the effect the choir has had on the kids, he sets out to involve their parents by training them for a joint concert with their children. But with the parents struggling to make ends meet and working all the time, they have a hard time seeing the value of the choir, which often drives Kim to despair. Even for those parents who manage to participate, finding the flair for concert singing provides its own challenges. The film follows Kim through this journey till the final concert as it documents the contrast between the verve of choir music and daily life in the slums.
ONE-LINER:Korean opera singer struggles to organize a choir concert in Pune with slum kids and their parents.
Emmy-nominated director Hyewon Jee has been working in the Korean TV industry for over 20 years. She started in 1995 with a prominent documentary production company and later worked as a commissioning editor for TV Chosun, a nationwide general broadcasting network. In 2008, she left the network to focus on making stories that are dear to her heart and established her own production company Upright Media with her partner Wooyong Song. She has produced and directed many human-interest documentaries and has won numerous awards. Singing with Angry Bird is her first feature-length documentary.
Director: Wojtek Kozakiewicz
Duration: 45 min
Kinga Ociepka-Grzegulska is one of the most important figures of the last two decades in Polish sports climbing. She is now a mother of two kids. After twenty years of living her passion, she has set herself a new goal of climbing the route that no woman has ever done before.
ONE-LINER: An eminent sports climber and mother of two sets herself a new goal.
Adventure sports filmmaker Wojtek Kozakiewicz has been working with the world’s best climbers and highliners. He is a director and cameraman of TV programs for Canal+ and Discovery Channel. His documentary Alpine Wall Tour (2016) won the Best Polish Film awards during the major Polish Mountain Film Festivals in Lądek-Zdrój and Kraków in 2016. He is based in Krakow, Poland. Since 2004, he has also taken up sports climbing.
The Last Honey Hunter
Director: Ben Knight
Duration: 35 min
In the mist-shrouded mountains of Nepal’s Hongu River valley, the Kulung people carve their lives out of the land and practice an ancient form of animism structured around the god Rongkemi. There you will find a wiry and unassuming man named Mauli Dhan Rai, who is believed to be chosen by the gods for the perilous rite of honey harvesting. The extraordinarily dangerous task involves climbing rope ladders up sheer cliffs to cut down combs made by the world’s largest honeybee (before collecting the poisonous honey within). It is a spiritual pursuit soaked in myth that the Kulung people believe taps directly into the gods. But with roads, new technologies and market forces encroaching, it may not be around for long.
ONE-LINER: Mauli Dhan Rai pursues his mystical vocation as the last honey hunter in the Hongu River valley.
Ben Knight has directed and produced some of the leading outdoor and adventure films in the United States, including DamNation (2014) and Denali (2015). He has won over 60 awards at various international film festivals. He lives in Colorado, and this was his first project in Nepal.
Director: Asmita Shrish/ Gavin Carver
Duration: 18 min
In 2015, an earthquake of terrible power devastated the Langtang Valley in Nepal, taking hundreds of lives. A year later, Nima Gyalmu, a woman of extraordinary strength, dignity and humor, rebuilds her house in a remote and shattered part of Langtang, while trying to come to terms with her new reality.
ONE-LINER: A Langtang local rebuilds her home after a massive earthquake.
Asmita Shrish is a Nepali filmmaker working in fiction and documentary. Her short documentary Auntie Ganga, a portrait of an elderly Gurkha couple living in Britain has played at 15 international festivals, was selected by the British Council to play on National Old Age Day and won an award from Human Rights Watch. She was commissioned by BFI and The Arts Council of England to make the follow-up project Little Nepal. She also produced the short documentary Kaloo School (2013) exploring the challenges of education in the mountains of Afghanistan. Her co-directed fiction film Chandra is currently showing at many international festivals.
Gavin Carver has worked for a couple of decades in the visual and performing arts as both practitioner and lecturer (at the University of Kent). Originally a lighting designer for theatre and occasionally film, his interests have developed to encompass a range of practices. For the past few years, he has concentrated on filmmaking, primarily specializing in documentary stories of landscape and culture. His film Andante (2014) has been shown at festivals in the UK, Canada and the USA and was featured by renowned online magazine Aeon.
Jaalgedi (A Curious Girl)
Director: Rajesh Prasad Khatri
Duration: 14 min
In a remote village in Mugu, Jaalgedi is taking out her family’s animals on shepherd duty. But the arrival of a foreign tourist sends all the children of the village in a frenzy. The inquisitive little girl gets distracted from her responsibilities for the day and unwittingly allows disaster to befall her family.
ONE-LINER: The curiosity of a little girl brings trouble in a small village.
Rajesh Prasad Khatri currently works as a primary school teacher in a remote western mountains of Nepal. He has been active as a theatre actor and director for the last ten years. He has also worked as a production manager in a number of films, including The Black Hen (2015). Jaalgedi, his debut short film, premiered at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival.
Jha Lo (Year of the End)
Director: Shenang Gyamjo Tamang
Duration: 15 min
A troubled young monk Tashi is sent to a retreat center far from his monastery with his master Paljor. The old monk is dealing with his own sense of guilt and anger. At the retreat centre, the lives of the two troubled monks get entangled, as their find their inner conflicts reflected in each other.
ONE-LINER: Two monks, a child and his elderly teacher, find their inner conflicts reflected in each other.
Shenang Gyamjo Tamang is a Buddhist monk and teacher at Shechen Monastery, Nepal, where he teaches Buddhist Philosophy. He has a strong passion for films and has participated in film workshops in India. Jha Lo is his directorial debut.
Kahan Ka Rasta (At the Crossroads)
Director: Savyasachi Anju Prabir
Duration: 48 min
Nestled in the Himalayan range of Uttarakhand in India, Kalap may soon have a motorable road. Till then the village continues to be ten kilometres uphill on foot from the nearest road. The film delves into the lives of the people of Kalap, who for generations have been negotiating their own path for sustainable living. With increasingly easy access to the world beyond, how will their social and cultural values be transformed? Going on an immersive journey in time and space into the everyday reality of Kalap, the film transpires at the pace of the village life in order to unveil its many facets.
ONE-LINER:A Himalayan village in India is on the brink of change.
Savyasachi Anju Prabir is a graduate in Film Studies from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru. His graduation film Miilelam Miiyoh evolved from over a month-long process of living and engaging with the Yimchunger community deep in the forests of Fakim in Nagaland. After completion of the Early Career Fellowship at School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai, he has enrolled at the University of Munster, Germany, to pursue his Masters in Visual Anthropology.
USA/ Vietnam/ Cambodia/ Laos 2017
Director: Nicholas Schrunk
Duration: 96 min
Ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Ruscha hopes to find the site where her father, a US Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War, was shot down more than 40 years ago. She is accompanied by Vietnamese cyclist Huyen Nguyen, and together they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. During this poignant voyage of self-discovery, the two women push their bodies to the limit, learn about the 'Blood Road' and reflect on how the Vietnam War has shaped their lives in different ways.
ONE-LINER: An ultra-endurance mountain biker and her riding partner take on the treacherous Ho Chi Minh trail on a personal quest.
Nicholas Schrunk is an award-winning director and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. He specializes in action, adventure sports and high-speed cinematography. He has directed top athletic talent across board, from pro-sports legends Tim Lincecum (MBL), Demarcus Ware (NFL), Devin Hester (NFL) and Anthony Davis (NBA) to top action sports athletes Ryan Sheckler, Travis Pastrana and James Stewart. With a formal education in Biology and Design, he combines reason-driven interest in science with the design principles of assembly and arrangement. He has produced an inspiring body of work that is as technical as it is artistic.