Arts and Entertainment

What to watch at the Mountain Film Festival

- Timothy Aryal

Dec 7, 2018-

The 16th iteration of the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival begins today, December 7, at City Hall on Exhibition Road, Kathmandu. Over five days (Dec 7-Dec 11), the festival will screen 72 films—including documentaries, fiction, and animation—representing 32 countries. The screenings will take place in two venues—City Hall and Nepal Tourism Board—centred around this year’s theme of ‘Women Move Mountains’. 

Here, we take a look at a number of films we deemed would make for an exciting watch each day of the festival.

 Day 1: Mountain (Australia, 74 minutes) 

Mountain, directed by Australian documentary filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, will open the first day of Kimff 2018. Mountain is a cinematic musical collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the director, and offers what producers say is, “a dazzling exploration of our obsession with mountains.” Peedom was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best documentary in 2016 for her second film, Sherpa. Mountain will be screened at City Hall at 12 pm. 

Day 2: Katha ’72 (Nepal/South Africa, 89 minutes) 

Katha ’72 is the second feature film by Nepali director Prabin Syangbo, after 2013’s Adhyaya. The film centres around a man whose family is displaced by the 2015 earthquakes. Director Syangbo said that the film is his attempt to capture the mood after the quakes. At the centre of the film is a migrant worker who returns home after a 10-year stint abroad and the changes in his family, love and feelings he experiences after the quakes. “In the aftermath of the cataclysmic earthquake, Palden embarks on a journey of inner discovery and closure with his estranged family,” reads the film’s logline. Katha ’72 will have its Nepal premiere at City Hall, on Dec 8, at 1 pm. 

Day 3: Rubina by Night (Nepal/USA, 13 minutes); Raasleela—Dance of the Divine Love (Nepal, 13 minutes); The Absence of Apricots (Germany/Pakistan, 49 minutes)

Rubina by Night, directed by Miranda Morton, explores a transgender model’s candid perspective on life. Morton has previously produced films like Pink Tiffany and Daughters of the Curved Moon. Rubina by Night shows at 5:15pm on Dec 9. The screening will be followed by Raasleela—Dance of the Divine Love, directed by Sahara Sharma who previously made Indreni Khojdai Janda. Raasleela tells the story of Radha, a conservationist, who devises a plan to save a rhino that one village is determined to capture. The third short being screened on the same day is The Absence of Apricots, which brings to screen a story from a remote village in northern Pakistan. The film features oral histories told by generations about a cataclysmic flood that displaced the entire village years ago. The third day of the fest, Sunday, will also see a discussion programme, ‘Breaking Code Red’, about menstruation and its perception in society. 

Day 4: In the Shadows of Everest (Nepal, 38 minutes); River Crossing (Nepal, 23 minutes)

In the Shadows of Everest features stories from Phortse, a village situated at an elevation of 3,950m and a unique Sherpa settlement of about 80 houses. The village was recently developed as a model ecotourism village within the Sagarmatha National Park. The village is also home to the most number of Everest summiteers on Earth. The screening will be followed by Sudarson Karki’s documentary, River Crossing, which features historical film footage of bridges and river crossings as filmed by veteran Swiss geographer Tony Hagen during his travels across Nepal in the 50s. The two films will be screened one after the other at 2:30 pm at the Nepal Tourism Board. 

Day 5: Curry (Nepal, 25 minutes); Marisakeko Manche (Nepal, 48 minutes)

Curry is a short film from up-and-coming director Milan Poudel that details a traumatic experience survived by its 24-year-old protagonist; an experience, he believes, has been imposed upon him by his culture and state. The film portrays the trauma and bullying a man from the Tarai belt faces. “24-year-old Bholu’s suppressed wrath manifests in a violent and unprecedented chain of events,” reads the film’s logline. The second film to be screened in the same slot is Marisakeko Manche (The Man Who Died Once), directed jointly by Bidhya Chapagain and Kamal Kumar. The film tells the story of how two women—wife and mother to two migrant workers—meet to discuss their woes of living without their beloved. The two films will be screened one after the other at 2:30 pm at City Hall. 

Published: 07-12-2018 09:02

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