Launch of 19th edition of KIMFF highlighting climate issues – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper


The 19th edition of the Kathmandu International Film Festival (KIMFF) kicked off in the capital on December 9 with the theme “Climate Karma” and features more than 60 films from 28 countries.

The festival, which just screened films online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is back with both online and in-person film screenings.

The opening which saw the presence of a masked audience, saw environmentalist and Rolex winner Sonam Wangchuk from Ladakh highlight the realities of human activities affecting the environment and religion.

“I love the theme of this year’s festival – climate karma. Climate change is too serious and needs to be discussed on the streets and in societies. This world has seen many such serious challenges in the past and we are beaten to solve them.” Stressing the importance of religion and culture in protecting the environment, he stressed the need to redefine education, culture, liberation, mitigation, defenses, cinema and the filmmaker.

A short documentary Dream Mountain – directed by Kyle Ruddick – was also screened at the event. It is Nepalese mountaineer Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita who climbed Mount Cholaste, a 6,440m peak, leaving her two-year-old son behind.

“At the beginning, everyone told me that mountaineering is difficult for women and it will be even more difficult after giving birth. I even tried to give up mountaineering but I couldn’t because it was my passion. I thought I would succeed if I could manage everything – household chores, caring for a child and mountaineering. Now my family is also happy with my success.”

According to the festival’s coordinator, Nishita Thapa Magar, the event aims to raise awareness about environmental issues and think about solutions to reduce the adverse effects of climate change in the world through films.

Magar also informed that there are different competitive categories in the festival – KIM-FF and the European Union will present “Green Growth-Green Recovery”, a short film competition for Nepali filmmakers; KIM-FF and Save the Children will present a TikTok challenge calling on people to take action for the environment while KIMFF’s Panorama of Nepal will feature exciting films from local talent. Journalist and climber Mario Casella from Switzerland, Swiss journalist and filmmaker Caroline Fink and Nepalese theater artist and director Anup Baral form the festival jury. The jury will select the three best films from the international competition and the best documentary film and fiction film from the Nepal Panorama section.

Featuring Dream Mountain, A Baby is Born, After Antarctica, Agua Desgasta Roca, The Journey of Ultimate Climate Challenge Huozhou Rapid Descent, Vadiyar among other films screened at the festival.

The festival presents films online as well as at the Film Development Board until December 13.

A version of this article appears in the December 10, 2021 printing of The Himalayan Times.

Teresa H. Sadler