KIMFF at 20

"Bagh ko Bangara (The Tiger’s Jaw)"

From 8-10 December the capital is hosting the 20th iteration of the much-awaited Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF), bringing a carefully curated mix of films from around the world focusing on mountain communities and cultures to Nepali audiences.

The festival is timed to mark the International Day of Mountains on 11 December, and is back to full physical screenings after two years of an online-hybrid event because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Screenings will happen at Rastriya Sabhagriha and Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. The theme for this year is 'Sustainable Summits', and features over 60 documentaries, fiction, shorts and animations from 30 countries including Burkina Faso, France, Iran, Nepal, South Korea, UAE and Wales.

The latest episode of Herney Katha Bagh ko Bangara kicked off KIMFF 2022 on Thursday. This 55 minute-long film from Nepal by directors Bidhya Chapagain and Kamal Kumar depicts the adventures of honey hunters from Jajarkot in Karnali Province. The festival will close with a special screening of Fly from Everest (60mins) by director Joe Carter about an Australian paraglider’s attempt to fly off Everest to help raise funds to eradicate polio.

Indian filmmaker Prakash Jha of acclaimed features like Gangaajal and Raajneeti joins KIMFF 2022 as its keynote speaker, and his film Matto ki Saikil will get a special screening on Thursday. Jha will be present for the Q&A after the showing with the film’s director M. Gani.

The festival will bring filmmakers, film enthusiasts, critics, scholars, journalists, artists and mountaineers for several special screenings, dialogues and discussions on the future of Nepali film, with filmmaker Abhinash Bikram Shah, director Pradeep Bhattarai, actor Surakshya Panta, theatre artist Akanchha Karki and co-founder of the animation company Incessant Rain Kiran Bhakta Joshi. In between the films, attendees will also be able to join the panels on children in film, ‘Young Person in Film’, and a workshop on adventure filmmaking.

The international jury for the festival includes Michael Pause from Germany, Kiran Bhakta Joshi from Nepal, and Jinna Lee from Korea and they will be judging the 18 shortlisted films for the international competition, and 19 for the top documentary film and fiction film in the Nepal Panorama selection.

KIMFF 2022 is organised by Himal Association, co-hosted by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and promoted by NTB. It is supported by UNESCO, the EU Embassy in Nepal, the Swiss Embassy, WWF, FDB, NMA, British Council, Mila Production, Toni Hagen Foundation Switzerland, ICIMOD, Contemporary Art of Nepal Foundation, Pasang Lhamu Foundation, and the Australian Embassy.

Some Highlights
Bagh ko Bangara (The Tiger’s Jaw)

55 min | Nepal | 2022

Original language: Nepali

Directors: Bidhya Chapagain and Kamal Kumar

High on the rugged mountains of Jajarkot in Karnali Province, locals harvest wild honey and shilajit. By the creators of the YouTube series Herne Katha, Bagh ko Bangara is a documentary about four wild honey pilots whose lives are bound together with the cliffs of Khal Taakuri. Their ancestors believed that wealth is found inside a tiger’s jaw. Along the extreme topography of Jajarkot, and across the mental and emotional geographies of the tenacious human spirit, Bagh ko Bangara is a story about the perilous journey into the tiger’s jaw. The people in these mountains have undertaken this journey for generations, always one step away from death. Now, for the first time, outsiders can witness it.

Matto ki Saikil (Matto’s Bicycle)

97 min | India | 2022

Original Language: Hindi

Director: M. Gani

Matto Pal is a beldar from a village near Mathura in India, a daily wage-earning construction labourer whose life is synonymous with his 20 year-old bicycle. His family, including his ailing wife, a teenage daughter and another, a primary school dropout, depend on it. Matto struggles to keep his bicycle in working condition to be able to reach his workplace on time. Arriving late losing wages is not an option. Matto ki Saikil is the story of how Matto and his family negotiate the simple pleasures of life. Will their lives change when, finally, Matto realises his dream of buying a new bicycle?

Wantadar, My Countryman

90 min | Australia | 2022

Original Language: English

Director: Jolyon Hoff

When former Afghan refugee and photographer Muzafar Ali discovers that Afghans have been an integral part of Australia for over 160 years, he begins to photograph their descendants in a search to define his own new Afghan-Australian identity. Then the Taliban take over Afghanistan and his old country comes calling.

Fly From Everest

67 min | Australia/ Nepal | 2022

Original Language: English

Director: Joe Carter

Retired Australian police officer and mountaineer Ken Hutt, 63, set off to do something that has never been done before: to climb Everest and then fly a solo paraglider off the summit, all to raise funds and awareness for Rotary's End Polio Now campaign. An epic story of adventure, sacrifice, and daring – with an incredible ending no one saw coming.

20th Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival

Rastriya Sabhagriha and Nepal Tourism Board,

Pradarsani Marga, Kathmandu

8-10 December 2022

For the complete festival line-up, please visit online.

Ashish Dhakal


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