List of Selected Films 2019

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International Competitive

S.N Films Director Time Country




Synopsis:


The film tells the life story of Roman Romancini, one of Brazil’s most important mountaineers, and traces his endeavour to reach his greatest dream: climbing Everest, after surviving a near-fatal accident and cancer. Directed by Rafael Duarte (Bambalaio Filmes) and produced by Leonardo Edde (URCA Filmes), “Beyond Dreams” shows how Roman dealt with the chance of never climbing again, how he fought a cancer and how he kept the Everest dream alive as an motivation to overcome the recovery process. Doctors, coaches, family and friends react in different ways to Roman's determination to still climb Everest.






Synopsis:


The four month-long odyssey of a paraglider across Tajikistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and India’s Sikkim and Arunachal up to the border of Myanmar. Four months of adventure, encounters, uncertainties, effort, and of flights into the heart of Himalayan landscapes







Synopsis:


Following the death of her father, 25-year-old Belekmaa lodges herself in his sheepherdsman’s encampment. She is living through the first major bereavement in her life and she hopes to see her father at least in her dreams, up to the day when, according to the Tuvan tradition, the spirit of the deceased would be fed and given its ultimate send-off.






Synopsis:


Victoria is about to give birth while clinging to ropes in the Andean Peru, 3,000m high. Ropes that hang from the ceiling and that tie women in labour to life; vertical labour improves post-delivery recovery. Victoria is going to give birth as her ancestors did, standing, as a defense of the tradition in modern birth centres. Tradition and healthcare unite against female and child mortality.






Synopsis:


Shimshal, known to alpinists as “the village of the climber”, is a little village at 3,100m nestled in the Karakoram range in northern Pakistan near the Chinese border. It has little electricity and no running water. Agriculture is barely possible and mountains are the only source of income here. Every home has a mountain guide, a climber, a porter. Until recently, they were all men. But for four years now, the Pakistani climber Qudrat Ali has been training women in the Mountaineering School to become mountain guides. This is a big opportunity for Bano Hafiza, Samreen Afyad, Zubaida Wahid, and others. Tourists from all over the world are finally returning to Shimshal after a long decline following 9/1l. The women of Shimshal could provide for their families in a substantial way. First they have to pass Qudrat’s challenging course, which includes climbing skills, leadership and conflict resolution, and decision-making in extreme situations. The final test is climbing the 5,300m high Shifkteen Sar. But the real message of the school is way bigger than mountains: if Pakistani women can conquer the highest peaks of the Karakorum, they can take control of their own lives, too.






Synopsis:


A personal and emotional journey of the director Stanisław Berbeka, the son of famous Polish Himalayan climber Maciej Berbeka; an ice warrior of the ‘80s who explored winter ascents of 8,000m peaks with other famous climbers of time. Stanisław tries to get to know his father's story after his tragic death in 2013. Through accounts of expedition participants, reminiscences of family, and archival recordings, we gain an insight into how this eminent mountaineer and traveller thought. Maciej died descending Broad Peak. But while he made a 25-year-old dream come true, it also signalled an end. The film examines passion and family life, values and waiting for your loved ones, fatherhood and manhood, as well as life and death in the shadow of the great mountains of the Himalaya and Karakoram.






Synopsis:


Sixty-year-old Nils has turned his back on society and taken refuge in a small wooden cabin in the mountains of Norway. Despite his attempt to distance himself from the world, Nils brought his cellphone and must confront his urge to have contact with others. This documentary describes and observes how Nils is trying to find a balance between being in touch with nature, with himself, and his family. This film explores the question of durable contact, and how and with whom you can manage it.






Synopsis:


A portrait of Nepal’s thriving metal scene, tracing its evolution from the late 1990s, when there were just a handful of bands, to the 40 or so active bands now. The film meets five of them, as well as actors from the old underground movement to paint a portrait of a generation of Nepalis who want to set themselves free from tradition and the violence the country that gripped the country for over a decade.






Synopsis:


Journey to the Centre of the Heart tells the story of nine foreigners from across the world who migrated to unlikely country of Nepal, which is facing its own mass outward migration crisis. These nine characters have come running away from political violence, migrating for a better career, searching for love, and seeking deeper meaning away from Western society. What brings true meaning and joy in life? And what has been lost in life in the West?Journey tells the story of the challenges and triumphs these unlikely migrants face in Nepal, and how they come to terms with Nepali culture.






Synopsis:


At 1,472m, Lukomir is highest village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located on the southern slopes of the massif Bjelašnica. Despite out-migration of the population and an increase in tourism in recent decades, transhumance pastoralism remains a pillar of the economy of Bjelašnica’s villages. Villagers spend the summer on Bjelašnica and the winter season in lower settlements near Sarajevo. Lukomir has 22 occupied houses in the summer. Summer tasks include bringing sheep to mountain pastures, drying hay, and other chores that secure the year-round livelihoods of Lukomir’s inhabitants. Lukomir is one of the few Bjelašnica villages that survived the Yugoslav War in the 1990s and so retains its traditional appearance. Today, this is its main attraction that brings in growing numbers of outside visitors. Lukomir, My Home is a visual ethnography of an older couple’s everyday life. The filmmakers lived with Hismet and Tidža through different periods and seasons, accompanying the couple while they carried out their everyday chores.






Synopsis:


Soon after the tragic death of his wife and youngest daughter, Sir Edmund Hillary embarked on his greatest adventure: a pilgrimage by jetboat and foot along the entire length of India’s sacred river Ganga, braving tigers, groundings, treacherous rapids, and a mountain climb. The journey would either cost him his life, or bring him back to life.






Synopsis:


Facing his future in dull retirement, 65-year-old piano tuner Desmond O’Keeffe decides instead to take on the most challenging and perilous delivery of his 40-year career: transporting a century-old Broadwood and Sons upright piano from London to the heart of the Indian Himalayas. Accompanied by two eager young apprentices, Desmond sets off from his Aladdin’s Cave-like workshop for a primary school in Lingshed, Zanskar. At 4,265m, it is one of the most isolated settlements in the world. Aided by local porters and guides, and a motley crew of yaks and ponies, the trio are tested as they cross beautiful but sheer mountain passes and come in direct contact with a different way of living: on the brink of change, filled with equal measure serenity and hardship. If successful, the expedition could become the ultimate gesture of music’s universal power to bridge cultures, inspire strength, and bring joy.






Synopsis:


In this film about the culture of outdoor film screening in modern China, migrant workers in Beijing and Chengdu, rural inhabitants of Anhui, Sichuan and the Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, as well as projectionists share their thoughts, memories, and experiences about government- and NGO-sponsored film screenings. Many remember the times when itinerant screenings attracted huge crowds of viewers. The younger ones take video cameras into their own hands to film “from within.”






Synopsis:


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Synopsis:


This is the story of how, on May 29, 1953, two men endowed with outstanding stamina and skill reached the top of the world. For the first time. Sir Edmund Hillary takes us through all the stages of this victorious ascent, revealing unknown details, and reliving the epic climb. His description of Tenzing Norgay clarifies his relationship with his partner and his narration of why he wants to reach the summit gives us an intimate view of his motivation as a mountaineer.






Synopsis:


A farmer struggles to save his ancestral farm, under threat from big business.






Synopsis:


Erik Weihenmayer has already overcome stunning challenges, including climbing Mount Everest Whitewater kayaking, paddling his own boat into the home of the most iconic whitewater in the world, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.



International Non-Competitive

S.N Films Director Time Country




Synopsis:


In July 2016, the paraglider Antoine Girard set off on a three-week hike-and-fly tour to explore the Karakorum mountains in Pakistan— alone. From the town of Skardu, he heads for the highest peaks of the Karakorum mountain range. The Frenchman has already twice failed in his attempts to climb the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and paraglide from the summit down into the valley. Now, his hope is that the upwinds will carry him and his chute to the summit—and possibly beyond. If he succeeds, he will set a new altitude record in paragliding, but the air is thin between the 8,000-meter peaks, and take-offs and landings are extremely tricky. Especially when you only have one person to rely on—yourself.






Synopsis:


Travelling across the wild winter highlands of northern Scotland, one man recollects a youth spent exploring the hidden corners of his homeland.






Synopsis:


In the 80s Akhyuk Lama, a Buddhist monk, went to meditate on the sacred plateau of eastern Tibet and founded Yarqen gar, an immense Buddhist settlement home to 20,000 devotees. Two-thirds of these are nuns, many of them Han Chinese. The director is the only Western woman to have lived alongside them, staying in Yarqen gar for a month, despite police searches. Yarqen gar is now under threat of demolition by the government, making this film a unique document of life in a very special place that may soon cease to exist.






Synopsis:


Ashmina, 13, lives with her family on the outskirts of Pokhara, Nepal, the world’s paragliding capital that is nestled between a beautiful lake and the Himalayas.






Synopsis:


Bakyt is the ten-year-old son of a village roughrider. After school he spends time with his horse, training with his dad for the races. But the night before the races, his horse is stolen. Bakyt cannot get over it, as he and his horse are like two parts of a whole.






Synopsis:


From inside his yurt deep within the heart of the Taiga, Bayandalai, an elder of the Dukhas tribe and the last of the great reindeer herders of the Taiga, muses about the significance of life and death in the largest forest on Earth.






Synopsis:


In April 2018, Eddie Bauer athlete David Morton and his seven-year-old son, Thorne, embarked on a week-long stand-up paddleboard journey down the Karnali and Bheri rivers in western Nepal. Morton wanted to deepen Thorne’s understanding of the world beyond their Seattle neighborhood. “There’s a basic paradox to parenting,” says David. “You have to keep your kids safe, but you have to teach them to take risks and follow curiosity. Life is undeniably richer with a little bit of daring.”






Synopsis:


Things are not easy for Dani, and her father knows. That is why he set up a fishing day hoping to cheer him up. The problem is that, sometimes, what is good for one is not good for everyone.






Synopsis:


A mother tries to save her daughter from death.






Synopsis:


The Cloud Forest of Mount Brinchang is facing attacks by the very people it shelters. Excessive use of pesticides by farmers pollute its microclimate and water reserves, and commercial expansion into the forest damages its ecological structure. If the destruction continues, this 200 million-year-old forest will soon see its end. This could jeopardise the entire Cameron Highlands.






Synopsis:


Summer is approaching. On the Patagonian steppe, water and grass are scarce. A family of crianceros, goatherds, from remote Curaco set off on a pilgrimage to reach the summer pastures and feed the new brood of kids. This is a journey along transhumance paths in Argentina’s northern Neuquén province. The words of Atilla Alarcón, singer-songwriter and criancero, tell of trails blocked by fences and increasingly dangerous working conditions caused by land appropriation. His way of life is under threat and he is unsure if his ancestral legacy will continue.






Synopsis:


In the 1980s, when Manipur state in India was ravaged by armed violence, a group of women came out on to the streets to uphold peace in the valley. Fireflies takes us through their struggle to protect their community from atrocities committed by the state. It explores the role of women in Manipur’s conflict-ridden, male-dominated society. Through powerful testimonies, this film looks into how gender identities are negotiated during the time of conflict and violence.






Synopsis:


Tamar Ariel, who grew up in a religious home in a moshav (cooperative) in southern Israel, was the first-ever Jewish Orthodox combat navigator in the IDF Air Force. In 2014, she travelled to Nepal to climb in the Annapurnas with a group of hikers. An unexpected encounter with a snowstorm hurled Tamar and her companions into a life and death struggle against the elements.






Synopsis:


Belmaya, aged 21, has given up on finding happiness. She is Dalit, not educated, and lives in a small dark room with her husband and tiny baby daughter. I Am Belmaya follows her transformational journey starting in 2014, when she begins to to train as a documentary filmmaker. Are her husband and community ready for this? Belmaya struggles against the patriarchal forces of society and gradually gains the skills and confidence to make her film, Educate Our Daughters. The film wins hearts and awards, and takes Belmaya to places she never dreamed she would go.






Synopsis:


During the darkest hours of the night, while the rest of the world is sleeping, Paul Zizka ventures out in search of the starriest skies. His journey to capture celestial wonders takes him from his home in the Canadian Rockies to the wild, desert dunes of Namibia and the remote ice caps of Greenland. In the Starlight is an intimate portrayal of Paul’s quest to photograph the night skies, and what that has taught him about his life, love, adventure, and our place in the universe.






Synopsis:


Jalil and Khalil are twin brothers who live in a remote village in Iran, farming cattle. Despite their poor financial situation, the brothers become members of the Iranian national track and field team.






Synopsis:


Five fishermen live on an island. Their mundane lives start to change with the disappearance of one of their number, and the arrival of a wolf on the island. As the wolf begins to stake its territory, tensions between the friends increase.






Synopsis:


Dream of a child labourer in the mountains.






Synopsis:


Ilyas, Ahmet and a Syrian refugee, Emir, are close friends. Ilyas wants to try out for a local football team and saves money to buy new cleats, or football boots. Emir shares his dream but has no money for football boots. One day, Ilyas sees his father pay debts for Emir’s family at the grocery store. Ilyas gives his new cleats to Emir, so he can make the trials. On the morning of the tryouts, one of Ilyas’ boots drops to the river. When Ilyas and Ahmet try to take it out, Emir surprises them.






Synopsis:


The iconic American climber Lynn Hill takes advantage of a trip to Spain to climb one of the country’s most emblematic routes, ‘The Biceps Party’, in the Mallos de Riglos in northern Spain. Lynn, a global rock climbing legend, tells us her philosophy about climbing while enjoying sharing ropes with her old friend Patxi Arocena.






Synopsis:


“Who hasn’t dreamed of doing something extraordinary? Being disabled does not mean you are unable. Everyone needs help sometimes and by helping each other on the ride, we will show that with a little help, everyone, disabled or not, is capable of extraordinary things.” (Paul Pritchard) Five friends attempt to be the first to cycle the 2,150 km from Kati Thanda or Lake Eyre, a salt lake 15m below sea level, to the snow-capped summit of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak. With good cheer and remarkable determination, they traverse stunning landscapes despite significant physical challenges—reduced lung function, paraplegia, spinal injuries, hemiplegia, and severely limited vision.






Synopsis:


Rachel, an ultra-orthodox young woman, enters an arranged marriage ready to be a kosher woman, obeying the will of her husband. After her marriage falls apart, she asks permission to remove her wig, an unusual move in her ultra-Orthodox community. Facing opposition from her parents and society, she starts to question the religion’s attitude towards women, and her own body and mind.






Synopsis:


This is the story of Mingma Nuru Sherpa, and an insight into a modern Sherpa life. Mingma wants a better life in his hometown of Juke or Pawai, at the foot of Everest. Interviews with Mingma’s friends recount his childhood, the advice of shamans, as well as the way to the west and to the highest mountain in the world. External influences continue to shape Mingma’s life, but he does not lose sight of his vision.






Synopsis:


An inspirational, emotional, and soulful story which shows that nothing is impossible if you put your heart and mind to it. Fahad Mahmood swapped the corporate world for the mountains, in an ambitious bid to introduce glamping—glamorous camping—to Pakistan, to help develop tourism and boost local economies. The Deosai Plateau—the second highest plateau in the world, and the Katpana Desert—the second coldest desert in the world, are both home to Fahad’s glampsites,






Synopsis:


A father of a family from Nahariya decides to share his secret desire to become a woman. Despite personal difficulties and social stigma, the family stays together, believing that love will conquer all. Family in Transition offers an intimate, candid, and stirring portrayal of a family.






Synopsis:


A story about a son and his father, and their loving, symbiotic relationship that is tested as the son tries to make a life of his own.






Synopsis:


Jun is a farmer who lives near a pineapple field with his mother, Dita, and his brother, Mako. His childless aunt from Manila offers to adopt Mako, promising to give him a good life. Jun and Mako face their impending separation and think of ways they can spend every minute together.






Synopsis:


When Saraswati arrives in a distant Himalayan village as an unusually well-educated new daughter-in-law, she wonders how she will ever feel at home there. The sceptical older generation of women scorn her work ethic, but Saraswati’s determination to succeed is strong. Through the eyes of both Saraswati and the villagers, all of whom are preparing for the ten-day Pandav Lila festival, the film charts the everyday work and spiritual practices that bind people to each other and the land, even as life is changing.






Synopsis:


A charismatic Mexican alpinist with no experience in the Himalayas attempts to climb his first 8,000m peak without supplemental oxygen and in less than 24 hours. Along his journey, he questions his principles, confronts self doubt, and learns the value of friendship and family. This short film is based on the personal recordings he left behind before he died on another expedition to Peru a couple of months later.






Synopsis:


For the first time ever, speed climbing has been made an event at the 2020 Olympics. REEL ROCK correspondent Zachary Barr looks into how this little-known and seldom practiced sub-discipline could shape climbing’s future. Barr journeys to France—the birthplace of modern speed climbing—then South Asia—where the sport has a real following—and finally to an international competition in Moscow, where speed demons race up a 15-metre wall in less than six seconds. 






Synopsis:


Two explorers set off in search of the mythical Shangri-La. Taking cues from James Hilton’s The Lost Horizon and Joseph Rock's National Geographic travel stories, they embark on an arduous quest to southern China. This film is the third in a series of short documentaries with Simon Chapman investigating links between classic fiction and turn of the 20th century exploration. Previous films looked at The Lost World and the Russian classic Dersu Uzala.






Synopsis:


This film is the story of an IT programmer who, in order to escape a boring life, sets off on his bike to travel around the world. He shares what he saw and heard along the way. Why does a programmer resign and decide to cycle around the world? Because he learned "Hello world" from the first day of learning to write a program.



Nepal Panorama

S.N Films Director Time Country




Synopsis:


Khando is 26, impoverished and illiterate, harvesting others’ crops in exchange for buckwheat to feed her seven-year-old son, Dhondup. Unsupervised, the boy bunks off school and runs wild in the mountains. Khando looks for a benefactor to give him the upbringing she cannot afford, and so when the village monk finds a guardian in the city, Khando joins a family of winter migrants on the arduous trek down to give the unsuspecting Dhondup up to foster care. They are each other’s only family; the decision is painful and changes their lives. The story is based on real-life experiences.






Synopsis:


Adit is a pilgrimage to submerge the ashes of a loved one, accompanied by a friend. The two talk about religion, their beliefs, and faith. The contradictions in their values dog them throughout the journey, until Adit can bid his final farewell.






Synopsis:


Britain’s Lonely Gurkhas shares the stories of the elderly, Gurkhas who moved to the UK, in the hope of a better life following a high-profile settlement campaign in 2009, supported by Joanna Lumley. Many find themselves isolated, lonely, and struggling with daily life. A 77-year-old veteran waiting to receive equal pension to his British counterparts. An ageing couple struggling to book a doctor’s GP appointment as they speak no English. A Gurkha widow missing her children and family, all back in Nepal. The film explores the human stories and examines the issues arising from the settlement ruling.






Synopsis:


This film explores the custom of polyandry prevalent in the Lama communities in some Himalayan regions of Nepal. In Humla district of Nepal, Lama brothers, no matter how many they are, marry the same woman. In other words, they their love and work—and also a wife.






Synopsis:


Akash is a naïve 18-year-old aspiring poet. Oshin, 17, is unabashed and outspoken. Akash secretly likes Oshin and writes a poem to ask her out. Their love blossoms, but they are restrained with each other, unlike typical teen couples. It all goes well until one night they decide to go further. But their lovemaking goes terribly wrong, leaving them jittery, anxious, and alienated from each other. But this is not the end of their story.






Synopsis:


When Dhanraj moves to Spain to study, he is reunited with his younger brother, Hari, who was adopted fourteen years ago by a Spanish person. After three years, Dhanraj returns to Nepal to meet their older brother, Padam and the rest of the family. It is an emotional meeting, as they discuss the happiness and misfortunes of their lives.






Synopsis:


Junu, a five-year-old girl who has trouble learning left from right is constantly told off by older people for wearing her shoes incorrectly. Eventually, the resourceful little girl invents a new way of learning what she needs to.






Synopsis:


Kokro is a drama about a couple who are unable to have a baby. After the husband, Sudhir, discovers he is sterile, he grows increasingly distant from his wife, Kunjan. The two lead their own lives but are haunted by the empty lives they lead. The emptiness in that symbolic kokro, or cradle, mirrors the emptiness in their relationship. One tragic event can drag a happy relationship to the edge. Can the couple meet each other midway and save their relationship?






Synopsis:


The story of Rukshana Kapali, Pahichan, shows how the 19-year-old Nepali transwoman struggles to establish her identity. In 2007, the Government of Nepal began issuing citizenship papers with an “Other” option to transgender people. Official documentation reflecting a person’s self-identification and gender presentation allows individuals to access their fundamental rights. Rukshana is one among the first transgender people in Nepal to have change her name on all legal documents, but is still unable to register at the national Tribhuvan University. Her struggle matters not just for herself, but for all young transgender individuals.






Synopsis:


Phurba – The Nature Guy revolves around Phurba, a smart and positive young man who loves nature. He owns yaks and sheep and goes every day to sell his milk to the local cheese factory. His village, a Tamang settlement in northern Nepal, has long sent its youth abroad to work. But Phurba has other ideas; he wants to open a cheese factory which he is sure will help improve the lifestyle of his neighbourhood. His father supports him, but his stepmother insists he go abroad at any cost. Phurba struggles with this dilemma, but eventually leaves. His stepmother expects to live a more luxurious life, but no one anticipates what will happen just a few months later.






Synopsis:


An alcoholic is usually considered a social outcast to. But here MaNe, a young man victimized by those around him as a worthless alcoholic, shows how actions like drinking too much are just another way to escape the whirlpool of chaos and noise a person experiences in life. Just like the surface of the ocean covers a gigantic underwater realm, alcohol might for some be a similar magical carpet that hides the enormous emotional range of a human mind.






Synopsis:


On the surface, Silence Please is a movie about a young man harassing a young woman in a library. But it carries a deeper message about the silencing of women and the double standards applied to them by those who control society.






Synopsis:


Set against the backdrop of the kamalari system (a bonded slavery system prevalent in far-western Nepal),"The Colorless Butterfly" is a story of an impromptu night escape of a teenage slaved girl from her master’s house in a search of her parents, who had abandoned her in her childhood. On her way in the quest, she meets a stranger who quenches her wish.






Synopsis:


Two guys decide to take a shortcut while trekking in the hills of Nepal. They are greeted by unexpected guests in the creepy forest.


KIMFF 19 schedule