Published On: November 6, 2017 12:00 PM NPT By: Sonam Lama

Film Southasia concludes with five major awards

Film Southasia concludes with five major awards

KATHMANDU, Nov 6:The 11th edition of Film Southasia 2017 under the theme ‘Documentary Bears Witness’ came to a conclusion on Sunday. Having screened altogether 63 documentaries on contentious issues from 2-5 November at Yala Maya Kendra, the grand festival has certainly provided a platform for the creators and admirers of non-fiction films to share and exchange the cultural values of South Asian countries.  

The festival inaugurated by Indian media personality, filmmaker and founder of Asian College of Journalism, Sashi Kumar, concluded with an award ceremony where titles under five categories with a net cash prize worth USD 5,500 were conferred to various artists.

The awards include Ram Bahadur Trophy for Outstanding film, Jury award, Tarek Masud Award for Best Debut Film, UNICEF Award For Best Film on Children’s issue and Best Student Film. Chief Guest Shashi Kumar, Unicef Communication Manager Rupa Joshi and the grandson of FSA icon Ram Bahadur Tamang presented the awards to the winning filmmakers.

Numerous filmmakers from South Asia participated in the festival and they were united to inform and discuss on various contentious issues of their respective countries. 
My City’s Sonam Lama talked to some of the filmmakers to know about their films and their experience on being a crucial part of Film Southasia 2017.

Mahera Omar
Director of ‘Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist’ (Pakistan)

My documentary is about the Pakistani architect who was killed three years ago. She was fighting for the land rights of the poor and she was documenting the lands as well as water supply in the city of Karachi.

In collaboration with Perbeen, I have formerly worked on many documentaries which were based on environmental issues. We were working in a project together, but I decided to make a film about her life and the way she lived after her demise.

Being at this event for the first time, I’ve had the opportunity to be able to watch inspiring documentaries, especially made by the people this region, and also to meet wonderful filmmakers from different parts of South Asia. The bond that we have shared is very special and has worked as a motivation for all the filmmakers present here.

Samarth Mahajan
Director of ‘The Unreserved’ (India)

My film basically is a result of a 17-day train journey and is a culmination of the personal and intimate stories that I had while making my travel. I decided to make this film when I came across one of the articles of Mahatma Gandhi called ‘Third Class in Indian Railways’ written in 1917.

Being a student of engineering, I wanted to unravel this facet of life and collect the stories of ordinary travelers. Talking about the experience here, this is the first major film festival that I have attended so far and it is my debut feature film that has been screened in Film Southasia this year.

It has been a wonderful experience in the sense that I am getting to watch a lot of films which were not available in India. As a filmmaker, I have gotten to meet many compatriots from a set of diverse communities which has allowed us to meet, discuss and get a closer picture of our respective communities. I believe Film Southasia has provided us the platform to grow as a non-fiction filmmaker and unite for a mutual objective. 

Director of ‘Trembling Mountain’ (Nepal)

‘Trembling Mountain’ is about Langtang community in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. The film takes the viewers to a journey of Langtang and its residents who witnessed the tragedy and overcame the trauma gradually with time.

This film has also witnessed the positive change after everything being obliterated in the 2015 earthquake. Talking about being a part of Film Southasia 2017, I have been more than elated to share my work with a diverse number of national and international viewers.

It not only has provided the filmmakers with opportunities to share and exchange thoughts as well as ideas but the fest has also been a platform to hear criticisms about your film to ultimately make you grow as a filmmaker.



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