Kathmandu: The 19th iteration of the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival is slated to start on December 9. This year’s festival will screen a total of 60 films from 28 countries in both virtual and physical settings, at the festival’s official site (kimff.com) and at Nepal’s Film Development Board’s auditorium in Chabahil, respectively. The films, as always, will include documentaries, fiction, shorts, experimental films, and animation. The festival will run from December 9 to 13.
The festival this year is tagged “Climate Karma”, aiming to spark conversations on the existential threat that is climate change, according to the festival’s chairperson, Basanta Thapa.
Environmentalist and Rolex Laureate Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh, India will open the festival this year with a keynote speech, which will be followed by the screening of “Dream Mountain”, a documentary by US-based filmmaker Kyle Ruddick.
Among the highlights for this year is the short film competition for Nepali filmmakers called “Green Growth-Green Recovery” presented by KIMFF and the European Union, and a Tiktok challenge about environmental woes presented by the festival and Save the Children, an NGO working for children rights. The festival will also screen films by local Nepali filmmakers as part of its “Nepal Panorama” section.
Three out of 40 shortlisted films will be awarded as part of the international competition, while a documentary film and a fiction film will be awarded out of 13 films shortlisted under the “Nepal Panorama” section. The films will be adjudicated by a jury that includes journalist and climber Mario Casella from Switzerland, theatre artist and director Anup Baral from Nepal.
Aside from film screenings, the festival will also witness panel discussions on climate change, titled “Coping with Climate Change”, and menstruation practices in Nepal, “Breaking Code Red—Dignity without Danger”.
The top three films in the international competition will win two hundred thousand, hundred and fifty thousand, and hundred thousand Nepali rupees, respectively. In the “Nepal Panorama” section, the best documentary film will win seventy thousand Nepali rupees while the best fiction film will win a hundred thousand Nepali rupees. The festival also has an award worth a thousand dollars to be provided to the Best Mountain Film.
Aside from film screenings, the festival will also witness panel discussions on climate change, titled “Coping with Climate Change”, and menstruation practices in Nepal, “Breaking Code Red—Dignity without Danger”. The festival will also host a photography masterclass by US-based photographer Cira Crowell, and the book launch of “Nepal Ma Mero Khoj Yatra”, the Nepali translation of Swiss geologist Toni Hagen’s “Building Bridges to the Third World.”
The festival has selected two documentaries, “Everest: By Those Who Were There—1921, 1922, 1924” and “Sustainable Summits— Climate Solutions From the Top Of The World”, as special screenings to watch out for.