The 17th iteration of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) next week will not just have documentaries and experimental films, but also movies from all over the world dealing with mountains.
The festival coincides this year with mountain-related events and anniversaries including the centenary of Edmund Hillary and 60 years of Swiss cooperation in Nepal.
This year too, the festival has an international competition, a non-competitive section, and a Nepal Panorama portion with more than 70 films including a wide range of genres.
The international competition has films about mountain communities in Asia, Europe, and the America. Quite a few films are about adventure, climbing, trekking, paragliding, and other mountain sports like rafting and canyoning.
Many of the entries examine the impact of modernity, big business, and migration on traditional lifestyles. Ethnographic portrayals from communities as far apart as Bosnia and Mustang take a close look at mountain communities.
“Filmmakers have worked on a variety of subjects. Development, gender, geography, and culture are recurrent themes,” says festival coordinator Ramyata Limbu. “Together, the films show how difficult life on mountains is all over the world, and how the traditional way of life is disappearing everywhere.”
In Nepal, the filmmakers seem interested in how the mountain terrain is connected with society. Many filmmakers have portrayed migration, economy, and the hardships of mountain lifestyle. Social struggles and changes are also in focus, with films on Kamlari women, patriarchy, and childbirth.
Another popular theme is love and relationships, with films on polyandry, teenage relationships, and infertility.