Kimff 2016 Winner
Coming of Age
In search of Devaki
Dadyaa:The Woodpeckers of Rotha
Beyond the White Cane
A Song for Barpak
Urmila – My Memory is My Power
Director: Susan Gluth
Duration: 86 min
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.
Susan Gluth studied at the Academy of Film and Television in Munich from 1995 to 2002. During this time, she produced, shot, and directed several films that were shown at festivals worldwide as well as on TV. Her first documentary "Shadows of Fate, a Refugee Childhood" was shot in Chad/Africa in a refugee camp with Darfuri children. Her 2008"Soap and Water" documentary won the following awards: North German Film Award, North Carolina for Best Direction and Czech Republik for Best Documentary. She came to Nepal many times during the past five years to work on the documentary 2016 "Urmila – My Memory is My Power" which is pre-listed for the German film award LOLA and will be premiered in Toronto at Hot Docs in 2016.
Director: Kesang Tseten
Duration: 83 min
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.
Kesang Tseten's documentaries have been regularly screened in Nepal and in the international film festivals such as the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, Leipzig International Documentary Festival, Yamagata, Thessaloniki, Krakow, Viennale, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival. "We homes Chaps", "On the Road with the Red God; Machhendranath", "We Corner People", "Who Will Be A Gurkha" and his trilogy of films on Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf have won wide recognition. His most recent films are "Men at Work", part of a South Asian Masculinities projects, and "Castaway Man", part of a South Asian Projects on justice. Kesang has been the recipient of grants from Busan, IDFA and the Sundance Institute for his films. He wrote the original screenplay for the feature "Mukundo", which was Nepal's past entry to the academy awards and "Karma". He is a graduate of Dr. Graham's school in India and Amherst College and Columbia University in the US.
Verso l'ignoto (Through the Unknown)
Director: Federico Santini
Duration: 75 min
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.
Federico Santini is a freelance documentary filmmaker. He has collaborated with the main Italian television networks (RAI, LA7, Mediaset) for the production of sports magazines, fiction, and reports. Since 2005, he has been involved in nature documentaries and popular science made in some of the most remote areas, such as the rain forests or the Himalayan regions. Thanks to his experiences as a hiking guide and mountaineer, he is able to move in the mountains at high altitudes in complete safety.
In 2011 he joined the expedition EVK2-CNR "Climate change in Mustang" documenting the ecological and social damage caused by global warming. In 2013, he was in the Karakoram region with the Nanga Parbat winter expedition, to film the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbet.
Coming of Age
South Africa 2015
Director: Teboho Edkins
Duration: 63 min
“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.
Teboho Edkins was born in the USA in 1980 and grew up mainly in Lesotho, South Africa, but also in Germany. He studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, followed by a two-year post graduate residency at le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains in France and completed a post graduate programme of the dffb film academy in Berlin. Besides being broad cast on television, his films are shown at festivals and museums and have won awards. They have also been acquired by private art collections.
Director: Mattia Colombo
Duration: 52 min
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.
Mattia Colombo was born in 1982. He graduated from Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and specialized in documentary direction at the IED in Venice. His first short film “ll Velo” was selected at Visions du Réel, Edinburgh International Film Festival, AFI Silverdocs Discovery, Dialektus Film Festival and XI Circuito Off, where it won two awards. “Il Passo” was a finalist for the Premio Corso Salani and was selected for the Rough Cut Lab at the Visions du Reel Festival 2012. Colombo co-directed the film together with Alessandra Locatelli and Francesco Ferri.
In Search of Devaki
Director: Devaki Bista
Duration: 45 min
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.
Born and raised in the far-West Nepal, Devaki Bista despite all odds decided to become a journalist. Besides journalism, she is interested in documentary film making and social work. She has worked in major national and international media organizations and specializes in stories related to crime, human trafficking, and women and children abuse. Currently, she is working as a freelancer writer, researcher, and photojournalist.
Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha
Director: Pooja Gurung/ Bibhusan Basnet
Duration: 16 min
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?
Based in Kathmandu, the duo Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have been working together for the past six years. Their first short film "The Contagious Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite" was screened in numerous international film festivals including Abu Dhabi, Tampere, Locarno, and Kurzfilmtage Winterthur among others. It also won the "Golden Comma for Fiction" at the Alpavirama Short Film Festival in Ahmedabad, India.They are working on their feature film, "The Whole Timers", selected at the Cinefondation L'Ateiler of the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and was developed within the Jerusalem International Film Lab.
Beyond the White Cane
Director: Badri Neupane and Upendra Raj Pandey
Duration: 28 min
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.
Upendra Raj Pandey holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He regularly writes columns for online media on literary issues. He has carried out research on a number of issues and this is his first project as a director.
Badri Neupane (Kumar) is a freelance photo journalist who has been working in this field for eight years. He was a photo journalist at Nagarik National Daily for a couple of years. He studied Media Design and Photography at Atlanta Technical Institute, Atlanta Georgia, USA. This is his first documentary.
Director: Lloyd Belcher
Duration: 42 min
"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.
Llyod Belcher is a self-taught photographer and film maker who specializes in action photography and short film documentaries. Since leaving a career in academia and deciding to make something out of his passion for photography and filming, his work has quickly developed with clients including Patagonia, The North Face, Lululemon Athletica and more.
Best ICIMOD Mountain Film
A Song for Barpak
Director: Pradip Pokharel
Duration: 50 min
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.
Pradip Pokharel is a journalist, writer, documentary filmmaker and researcher based in the Himalaya region.
KIMFF 2016 Jury
Artist and curator Toon Hezemans has always been looking for possibilities to combine his passions. As from an early age, he has been drawing cartoons that have been published in numerous books and magazines. A holiday job as a guide in the subterranean marlpits near his hometown introduced him to the world of speleology and eventually to rock climbing. After graduating from School of Arts in Maastricht, he participated in a climbing expedition to Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya). For a while, he owned a limestone quarry in Belgium, which he turned into a location for outdoor sports.
In 2001, he organized his first interdisciplinary cultural event in which film, music, sports, and visual arts were combined. After winning a local mountain challenge, he and his climbing companion, Thijs Horbach, organized the first Dutch Mountain Film Festival in 2011. Now a member of the International Alliance for Mountain Film, the festival might be considered the perfect combination of sports, nature, and the arts.
Steven Yates was born in Manchester, Great Britain. After graduating from Kent University with a combined degree in Film Studies and English Language, he moved to London and pursued a career in film. Initially working periodically for the London Film Festival and, as a script developer for film companies, he eventually settled into film journalism. In 1998, he was one of the founders of the (now defunct) e-commerce and film magazine Filmworld.co.uk, as director of content and film critic/journalist.
The website won awards both nationally and internationally in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Since the early 2000s, Steven has been a freelance film critic and journalist in both online and print media. He joined Fipresci in 2001 and has represented their jury in many film festivals since 2002. He is also one of the English Language supervisors for the Fipresci website. Based in Berlin since 2008, Steven currently writes for a number of periodicals including Film International, Celluloid, Camera Lucida, El Hype, and afterimage.
Véronique Becchia is the director of Alliance Française de Katmandou. She grew up in Paris where she lived for 20 years before she moved to Grenoble in the French Alps to continue her studies. Upon graduation, she moved to Australia where she first came to be employed by Alliance Francaise De Brisbane. During this time, she organized the Alliance Française French Film Festival for three years. The festival is not only the biggest film festival in Australia; it is also the biggest festival of French films outside of France.
She also worked at the Australian Cinémathèque on the 2014 retrospective of Orson Welles and for the “Action, Hong Kong Style” retrospective. She returned to France where she lived in Annecy in the French Alps and continued pursuing her work-interest for Australia by volunteering as a translator for the Antipodean Film Festival (the Australian and New Zealand film festival of France). While in France, she realized her true passion for the arts and education abroad and became a fully fledged director in Kathmandu since 2015.