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Himalayan Film Festival


Discover the Magic of the Himalayas

Join the 2nd Annual Himalayan Film Festival and explore the majestic beauty of the Himalayas and the spirit of its  people. Join us May 16th and 17th 2014 in San Francisco and Berkeley California.


2014 Films + Events


Kamlahari

THE SLAVE GIRLS OF NEPAL

The story takes place somewhere between the Himalayan range and the Gangetic plain: to be more precise, on the fertile lands of the Teraï region in Nepal. The beauty of the landscape in these vast Western plains clashes with the great poverty of the inhabitants: the Tharu.

In this region of Nepal, a country of deep contrasts, Christoph Schwaiger discovered the tragic fate of young Nepalese girls. Their families sell the little girls, called the Kamlahari, as slaves and they are sent off to work as housemaids for wealthy families. Deprived of a childhood, family and education, tradition condemns them to a life of servitude; sometimes as early as at the age of five. One voice rises above the crowd of thousands of enslaved girls: Urmila Chaudari, who has decided to fight these ancestral traditions.

 

Girls without childhood

– Deeply moved by the fate of these modern slaves and impressed by Urmila’s courage, Nathalie Schwaiger decided to write their story: Sklavenkind, a huge success in German

Did you know?

– Roughly 27 million people accross the world are victims of modern slavery
– Almost 50 % of these are children, and many are in Asia


BalKrishna Sama

A film that follows a little boy, Krishna, who experiences the hardships of contemporary caste discrimination in his daily life, leading him to take a dramatic decision.

Sama in Nepali means equal. This fiction drama is named after the famous Nepali playwright Bal Krishna Sama, who gave up his elite caste name Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana and started using

Sama as his last name.

Entirely filmed in the beautiful hilly region of Far Western Nepal, the film focuses on the life of Krishna, a sweet, bright and curious Dalit (untouchable) boy. “Bal Krishna Sama, Untold Story” illustrates that in spite of laws prohibiting caste discrimination which were enacted following the end of the conflict in Nepal, caste discrimination is still very prevalent, particularly in rural and remote areas, but in a new and more subtle way.


Made in Bhutan

MADE IN BHUTAN is a documentary portraying this recent emergence of entrepreneurship in the Bhutanese Kingdom . In 2012, director Hirondelle Chatelard travelled the kingdom with a Bhutanese film crew meeting and interviewing entrepreneurs and key individuals.

MADE IN BHUTAN was released in the capital city, Thimphu, in November 2013. Since then it has been screened all over Bhutan in various settings, ranging from schools and universities to prisons and TV broadcasts, in the hope to inspire as many young people as possible.


Who will be a Gurkha

The Brigade of Gurkhas has been a special unit within the British army for 200 years. Boys are recruited for the unit in the mountain villages of Nepal. In Who Will Be a Gurkha, director Kesang Tseten observes how these boys fare in this rigorous three-phase selection procedure extending over six months. The aspiring soldiers’ physical condition, intelligence and motivation are all put to the test. It means that the selection isn’t only a matter of fitness and muscle power, but also of the right mental preparation. The Gurkhas are known for their courage and fighting spirit, and they fight, just like regular British soldiers, in areas of conflict such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They consider it a great honor to be part of the brigade, but perhaps the British salary also helps. Some have prepared themselves well, while others got their training from shady “academies” that unfortunately don’t give them the same advantage. Gossip and prejudice lead some boys to think that certain castes are getting priority over others, or that some positions are up for sale. But the selection procedure is “free, fair and transparent,” something that the British commanders often repeat. Archive footage is alternated with recent scenes of the boys training and, in their spare time, singing. In this way, the film provides a broad perspective on a 200-year-old military tradition that still provides status to young Nepalese men.


Scent of Juniper

A real life story about a Tibetan exile folk artist, Tsering Dorjee who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and his initiative in passing down centuries old Tibetan literature and performing arts to younger generation Tibetans. He does so through the community weekend culture school, which serves these youngsters who were born and raised in the US. After following Tsering for about six months with a camera, filmmaker Tashi Wangchuk comes out with a beautifully compiled film about displaced Tibetans in the Bay area.