Dec 13, 2014: KIMFF (Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival) is one of a kind film festival happening in Kathmandu, that brings together film makers, film enthusiasts, journalists and international attention with the films that relate to mountains in many ways. The biennial festival started from the year 2000 and kept bringing out various issues like traditional culture, mountaineering, gender equality, lifestyles, and many more. The film festival also promotes aspiring filmmakers (especially youth) to portray change in the society through audio visual means. The twelfth edition contains 70 films from 20 different countries, with range of films like documentary, fiction, experiment and animation. This years Kimff started with the premiere of much talked documentary Sunakali directed by Journalist Bhojraj Bhat. The documentary film was also screened for Saturday: the show I could attend and write this blog. Though the venue was changed from City hall to QFX Kumari due to the recent holding of SAARC summit there, the turn out was packed with the advantage of high quality screening technically.
Sunakali is a story of girls like Sunakali Buda in Mugu district who wants to play football despite the hardship of rural area (remote part of Karnali zone) and being a girl who elopes very early there. The girls aged around 14-16 ( time there to get married or elope) get selected from a pool of 30 and now goes to play a match against Humla. Mugu team looses the game and gets disheartened due to the loss but does not give up their hope to play more and later wins not only against a team from Kathmandu but the whole tournament that takes place in plain region (Kailali). During their travel, the girls take bus, plane, bike for transportation all for the first time in their life, and that could not have happened without their zeal for football.
Back home, the whole district welcomes the team in a big celebration, like more than winning the world cup tournament. People put tika, Garland, and dance in traditional music. They are even paraded around by riding through horse and boating in Rara lake. The family who felt trouble for girls leaving home for football, shared equal joy for their success afterwards. Whole district was proud of the girls. Traditional Karnali songs and Kutumba instrumental fusion is quite remarkable in the movie.
The emotions of parents while girls leave their homes for match, snow filled playground, the joyous moment of winning the game, and the actual message is also captivating. The emotional sequences can make your eyes watery and have long lasting impact on your mind despite the technical glitches (out of focus and blurry images) that the director even nodded due to use of low resolution camera at first.
|Bhojraj Bhat, Director answering public queries after the screening of Sunakali|
Luckily I happen to watch the movie with the director Bhojraj Bhat next by my side. He even answered my queries from the location to the technical glitches. I came to know that they started to shoot by a simple handy cam and with the documentary getting good turn, the cameras had been changed along with four cameraman. With more than 3 months of arduous shoot in the area, the team managed to shorten the 138 hours of footage (he shared they had caught all the details) to 45 minutes in 14 sittings within two years span. I would like to congratulate the director (which i even did in person) and the whole team in successfully telling such a story to Kathmandu and beyond.
|Crowd for the film festival.|
After Sunakali, some shorts (Manish Harayeko Suchana, Pawan, Khyar khar pankha) were also screened in the same slot that made my love for the shorts to grow more for the inspirations they have carried along and so I continued for consecutive slot too. Delhi Dreams, Kranti Jari cha, 1000 dreams, Punte ko pangro, and Butte jama were screened for the later slot that were even more interesting and powerful. My Saturday went nicely with the Kathmandu International film festival and I found shorts are more stronger than documentary or a full feature in giving a concise message and bring inspiration. What a wonderful Saturday it was!!!