Film South Asia 2011 is in its eighth year and the prestigious regional documentary film festival will showcase 36 finest shortlisted films next week from 29 September to 2 October.The films are judged by a three-member jury and the best film is awarded the 'Ram Bahadur Trophy' for Best Film along with a cash prize of $2,000. The second best film is awarded $1,000 and the Best Debut Film gets $1,000. This year's program:
THURSDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER
3 PM The Other Song (120')
India, 2009, dir - Saba Dewan
In 1935, Rasoolan Bai the well-known singer from Varanasi, recorded for the gramophone a love song that she would never sing again.
5:30 PM Jharu Katha (64')
India, 2010/11, dir - Navroze Contracto
This illuminating story of brooms in Rajasthan highlights the cultural and socio-political relations amongst the actors involved.
FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER
10 AM Common Ground (52')
Sri Lanka, 2011, dir - Philip Buccellato
Increasing human populations and loss of elephant habitats poses a serious threat to the elephant's continued existence.
11:30 AM Nargis - When Time Stopped Breathing (90')
Burma, 2010, dir - Kyaw Kyaw Oo, Maung Myint Aung
In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis raged for hours in Myanmar's Ayeyarwaddy Delta, killing 140,000 people.
1:30 PM Out of the Darkness (73')
Nepal, 2010, dir - Stefano Levi
Dr Sanduk Ruit from Nepal, and his American partner, Dr Geoff Tabin trek to Nepal's remote northeast, carrying an entire hospital on porters' backs.
3:15 PM Ishpata (70')
Pakistan, 2011, dir - Afsheen Sajid Ali, Irfan Ali Shah
Despite gloomy scenario in the Kalash region of Pakistan , there are some people who have made a difference in the lives of their community.
5 PM Saving Dolma (62')
Nepal, 2010, dir - Kesang Tseten
The film follows the story of Dolma, a Nepali maid sentenced to death for allegedly killing a fellow Filipino domestic worker in Kuwait.
6:30 PM I Was Worth 50 Sheep (72')
Afghanistan, 2010, dir - Nima Sarvestani
I Was Worth 50 Sheep is the story of a girl in Afghanistan, Sabere, and her
struggle for life.
SATURDAY, 1 OCTOBER
10 AM This Prison Where I Live (91')
Burma/Germany, 2010, dir - Rex Bloomstein
This is a film about two comedians joined by comedy, separated by repression.
12 PM The Market (70')
India/Canada, 2010, dir - Rama Rau
Two families. Two journeys. One end. To find a kidney, someone has to lose one.
1:30 PM Apour Ti Yapour. Na Jang Na Aman. Yeti Chu Talukpeth (77')
India, 2011, dir - Ajay Raina
Twenty years of turmoil and the consequent Indian state response may have brought Kashmir to a point from which there is nowhere else to go.
3:15 PM The Boy Mir - Ten Years in Afghanistan (90')
Afghanistan, 2010, dir - Phil Grabsky
Over ten years in Afghanistan, The Boy Mir tracks cheeky, enthusiastic Mir from a childish eight to a fully grown 18-year-old.
5:15 PM Partners in Crime (94')
India, 2011, dir - Paromita Vohra
Full of wicked irony, great music and thorny questions Partners in Crime explores the grey horizons of copyright and culture during times when technology is changing the contours of the market.
SUNDAY, 2 OCTOBER
11 AM I Am (71')
India, 2011, dir - Sonali Gulati
I Am chronicles the journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns to Delhi.
12:45 PM Inshallah, Football! (83')
India, 2010, dir - Ashvin Kumar
Bashir Baba, a much-wanted leader of the armed group Hizbul Mujahideen has given up the gun. Yet, football is his passion and fuel.
2:45 PM Cowboys in India (76')
India, 2009, dir - Simon Chambers
Cowboys in India sets up the viewer to believe that we're going to learn about the evils perpetrated by the London-based mining company Vedanta Resources in rural India.
4:30 PM Summer Pasture (85')
TAR, 2010, dir - Lynn True, Nelson Walker
Summer Pasture is a feature-length documentary that chronicles one summer of a young Tibetan family amidst a period of great uncertainty.
THURSDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER
3 PM Nero's Guests (56')
India, 2009, dir - Deepa Bhatia
Nero's Guests is a story about India's agrarian crisis and the growing inequality seen through the work of the rural-affairs editor of The Hindu newspaper, P Sainath.
4:15 PM The Dreaming Vendors (51')
Bangladesh/Thailand, 2010, dir - Ahmed Abid
The film depicts an extraordinary and horrific journey of human suffering and the struggle for survival by people who were only searching for a better life.
5:45 PM Moving to Mars (84')
Burma/Thailand/UK, 2011, dir - Mat Whitecross
Moving to Mars follows two refugee families from Burma over the course of a year that will change their lives completely.
FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER
10 AM The Nine Months (77')
India, 2010, dir - Merajur Rahman Baruah
This film is about the genre and aesthetics of a unique form of performing art and captures the lives of approximately 5000 people during their Nine Months of theatre.
11:45 AM Dharavi, Slum For Sale (79')
India, 2010, dir - Lutz Konermann
Ten years ago, US-trained architect Mukesh Mehta came back to India to usher in a new turn in Mumbai's slum-rehabilitation policies.
1:30 PM Platform No. 5 (26')
India, 2010, dir - Vanaja C
The film examines the concept of love, fear, respect and money in the world of street children.
The Search for Justice (28')
Pakistan, 2011, dir - Tehmina Ahmed
The documentary investigates the state of labour laws and courts in Pakistan, exposing flaws in the system and recommending possible solutions.
3 PM The Truth That Wasn't There (84')
Sri Lanka/UK, 2011, dir - Guy Gunaratne
In 2009, three student journalists crossed the frontlines in the wake of Sri Lanka's civil war, the only independent journalists to have done so.
5 PM Tareque Masud Memorial: A Dialogue
Documentary: The Universe from Nitrate to YouTube
Panelists - Nupur Basu (filmmaker, journalist),
Yasmine Kabir (filmmaker),
Satish Sharma (photographer, writer)
Moderated by Kanak Mani Dixit (FSA Chair)
6: 45 PM Director Painter Shri Baburao Laad Saheb (15')
India, 2010, dir - Richa Hushing
The Bollywood aspiration permeates into the lowest layers of the city, and the failed actor turns into a local icon.
Sri Lanka, 2011, dir - Kannan Arunasalam
Jaffna's taxi drivers and newspaper men adapt to scarcity and hardship, and face violence close up.
Tres Tristes Tigres (15')
Bangladesh, 2010, dir - David Munoz
Highlighting the plight of tens of thousands of Bangladeshi migrant labourers.
SATURDAY, 1 OCTOBER
10 AM The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (59')
India, 2010, dir - Tarun Bhartiya
A film looking at the incredibly hardy steam trains that plod resolutely to Darjeeling and a few dependents of the railway.
11:15 AM War and Love in Kabul (86')
Afghanistan, 2009, dir - Helga Reidemeister
The Afghan lovers Hossein and Shaima are subject to ancient tribal laws, and everyone involved lives in constant fear of vengeance.
1:15 PM Journey to Yarsa (55')
Nepal, 2011, dir - Dipendra Bhandari
A journey of a man in search of yarsagumba, a fungus that grows out of caterpillars in the high Himalaya.
2:45 PM So Heddan So Hoddan (53')
India, 2011, dir - Anjali Monteiro, KP Jayasankar
The movie looks at the rich, syncretic legacy of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a medieval Sufi poet.
4:15 PM Jai Bhim Comrade (207')
India, 2011, dir - Anand Patwardhan
Vilas Ghogre, a poet and musician explores events that unfolded in the aftermath of a murder.
SUNDAY, 2 OCTOBER
10 AM International Marketing of
Documentaries: Financing & New
Strategies for Distribution
A talk by Iikkaa Vehkalahti, Commissioning
Editor of YLE TV
11:30 AM Made in India (97')
India/USA, 2010, dir - Rebecca Haimowitz,
Made in India is a feature-length documentary film about the human experiences behind the phenomena of 'outsourcing' surrogate mothers to India.
1:30 PM Pink Saris (96')
India, 2010, dir - Kim Longinotto
Pink Saris is an unflinching and often amusing look at unlikely political activists and their charismatic leader; in extraordinary scenes.
3:45 PM Aadesh Baba (77')
Nepal, 2011, dir - Aurore Laurent, Adrien Viel
Aadesh Baba is the story of the sadhu's quest for the divine. But men have to set themselves free from pain to reach eternity.
PICS: SATISH SHARMA
The creation of the first cities and the invention of writing lie at the heart of our very idea of civilisation. Indian photographer Satish Sharma, who currently lives in Kathmandu, has been intrigued about how they began together and neither now exists without the other. For the first time in modern history, urban dwellers will outnumber rural dwellers, and city dwellers will be living in a "torrent of text".
Sharma takes these texts and makes photographic images of them in the urban context. Ahead of his exhibition that opens in Siddhartha Art Gallery on Friday, Sharma told Nepali Times: "It is these eyeball grabbing visual texts and their relationships with the construction of our lives in our consumer oriented cities that interest me. This is a relationship that I want to explore photographically in Texts and the City."
Texts and the City
Siddhartha Art Gallery
Babar Mahal Revisited
23 September – 17 October
11AM- 6PM Daily
Nepali Times: How did you get inspired to do Texts and the City?
What was it about the signage in Kathmandu that grabbed you?
Their raw reflection of the chaotic growth the city is going through.
When does photography transcend satire of the misuse of language to be a visual record of a landscape?
When it makes one look again. Actually see. And ask questions.
How this exhibition fit into the corpus of your other photography?
It continues to expand on my interest in the politics of photography: the politics of its use.