Friday, February 29, 2008

3rd Annual Nepali Film Festival: Vancouver, Canada


A Life with Slate
(2006, 59 min.)

Director: Dipesh Kharel

In Alampu, a beautiful and exceedingly remote village in rural Nepal, more than 90% of villagers work in the local slate mine. Their lives take on an almost poetic dimension, as women perform treacherous and arduous work alongside men in the mountainside mines. We learn how to separate slate slabs from the precipitous rock face and watch as miners carry heavy slate loads to distant markets. The film emphasizes the way co-operation between the miners makes this tough life bearable, and portrays moving scenes of the lives of mining families.

Selected for the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival 2007 and the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2007

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Yearning for Learning
(2006, 22 min.)

Director: Kedar Sharma

Twelve-year-old Bharat understands the challenge of being born into a poor family in a poor country. For many children in rural Nepal, attending school is a privilege rather than a right. Those who don't go to school have futures shrouded in uncertainty. Bharat, however, knows the importance of education. Through his and his mother's undaunting efforts, he manages to go to school and reserve some hours of the day for study. As well as telling Bharat's story, the film discusses issues of child exploitation and abuse of children's rights in Nepal.

Selected for the Jiri Film Festival, Nepal, March 2007

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The Icefall Doctor: Angnima Sherpa
(2007, 28 min.)
Director: Hari Thapa

The Icefall Doctor examines the life and work of Angnima Sherpa who, since 1975, has made the Khumbu Icefall safe for thousands of climbers. The Khumbu Icefall is the terrifying gateway to Mt. Everest from the south side. Angnima and his team are the first ones too reach base camp, and the last ones to leave. Building anchors and setting ladders, safety is their top priority. This fascinating, beautiful film brings to light an aspect of climbing of which many people are unaware.

Selected for the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2007

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Daughters of Everest
(2004, 56 min.)
Directors: Sapana Sakya and Ramyata Limbu

The award winning and captivating, Daughters of Everest documents the first ever expedition of Sherpa women to climb Mt. Everest. Although the Sherpa people are legendary for their unmatched skill in mountaineering, Sherpa women are discouraged from climbing Everest, relegated instead to support roles in the climbing industry of Nepal. Told from a woman's perspective rarely seen on Everest or off, this film is both a dramatic, inspiring Everest story and an absorbing portrait of the Sherpa community.


Best Documentary Award, Mt. Shasta Film Festival, California
Best Climbing Film, The Banff Mountain Film Festival, Canada
Jury Award, Mountain Film, Telluride, Colorado
Best Mountain Culture Documentary Award, Taos Mountain Film Festival, New Mexico
Grand Festival Award, Berkeley Video & Film Festival, California
Nominated for Best Documentary, Asian Film Festival in Dallas, Texas, 2004

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Machanaayo, the Leader
(2006, 30 min.)

Director: Deepak Rauniyar

Troubled by the destruction of beautiful old houses in Kathmandu, architect and sculptor, Rabindra Puri, quit his job to work full-time preserving buildings built in traditional Nepali styles of architecture. The film documents Rabindra's renovation and preservation of Namuna Ghar, a stunning and intricately designed 150-year old Newari-style house in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Rabindra won the 2004 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for his work. Namuna Ghar has inspired more than 10,000 visitors, and stands as a model and reminder of the importance of preserving Nepal's unique architectural styles.
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A Silent Monsoon
(2007, 34 min.)

Director: Pravash Gurung

Set in a rural Nepali village, Nabarasiyeko Jhari (A Silent Monsoon) tells the story of Durga and her struggle to save her twelve-year-old daughter, Laxmi, from the family profession of prostitution. Will Durga be able to fight society and her fate, and set her daughter free? With brilliant performances by Nepal's most respected actresses, Nisha Sharma Pokharel as Durga and Subhadra Adhikari as her mother, the film questions "life" and "death" through three generations of women trapped between custom and circumstances, wrapped in the alluring beauty of Nepal.

Official Selection at the following film festivals:

VC Filmfest: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2007
Aarhus Festival of Independent ArtsDenmark, 2007
Cleveland International Film Festival, 2007
Sarasota Film Festival, 2007
Sedona International Film Festival, 2007

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(2007, 80 min.)

Director: Maotse Gurung

During school vacation, an urban girl, Kripa, is brought back to her natal village by her aunt to live with her deaf father. Friendless and lonely, she meets a Lahure (a British/Indian Gurkha), who teaches her to adjust to the village life. She finds friendships in two village children, Neha and Thagu, and learns to feel for her father, Ode, as well. It’s not long before Kripa finds herself caring about a range of social issues.

Kripa, the film, is a beautiful presentation of socio-cultural complexity involving the struggle of a reform-minded individual against the forces who seek to sustain and benefit from deep-rooted myths and superstition.

Selected for the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival 2007; Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2007

Audience Award, Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2007 (KIMFF 2007)

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December Blues
(2006, 35 min.)
Director: Shekar Kharel

A look at modern day Kathmandu through the eyes of the affluent youth. This intriguing documentary shows a side of Kathmandu outside the typical scenes of mountain villages and their inhabitants. It shows Nepal youth embracing dance clubs, party websites and western style revelerie.

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Outside the Newsroom
(2006, 23 min.)
Director: Dil Bhusan Pathak

After learning of the tragic death of a village woman as a result of abortion by the most conservative and unhygienic means, a television news anchor embarks on a journey to the remote Accham district in pursuit of the story. Through the film, we learn about archaic methods of abortion still prevalent in many parts of Nepal, and the resulting suffering of women. The film captures the individual tragedy that is the result of the vicious circle of poverty, ignorance, gender discrimination and fatalism.

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A Nepali Émigré in Paris
(2006, 4 min.)

Director: Sushma Joshi

A Nepali man flees political repression in Nepal in the late 1980s as the fight for democracy begins. After living in Paris for 20 years, he has had no reason to look back - until now, when both his loyalty and his love are torn between two sides.

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Better to have been Killed
(2007, 52 min.)

Director: Dhruba Basnet

A beautifully shot film by a Nepali documentary supremo that documents how journalists were treated during King Gyanendra's reign.
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Pani (Water)
(2000, 28 min.)
Director: Sushma Joshi

Pani documents the lively discussions between the inhabitants of Lele, a rural Nepali village, about the daily problems of their water supply system and its management. The film follows the growing conflict in the community after the installation of a water pipe and tap system. Gender and caste differences play a vital part in the disputes as women and lower caste members are excluded from decision making even though they are the principal users. The film tracks the wide disparity in control and communication revealing frustrations that result in the pipe being cut and maintenance fees unpaid. The lesson portrayed is that even small scale models of development will not work unless traditional social infrastructure, especially gender biases and cultural discrimination, are addressed by donors and local managers.

Selected for the Himalayan Film Festival, London, October 2007

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Our School
(2006, 28 min.)
Director: Kedar Sharma

Our School is a moving portrayal of “inclusive” schools in Nepal and challenges discriminatory, exclusive practices against disabled children. The narrator, Ramesh, himself a blind child, explains how studying in a school with students who can see makes him feel “normal”. The film focuses on three schools, taken as examples, in different part of the country: the first is a school for deaf and hearing-abled students; the second is for blind and sight-abled students; and the third school, in the capital, teaches children of brick-makers who come to Kathmandu for six months every year. The film makes the points that these children are not disabled but rather are different with their own unique abilities and talents, and should not be excluded from attending school with other children.

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Important Info:

Time: 11am-6:30pm
Date: February 24, 2008
Place: Langara College
(100 West 49th Avenue)