KIMFF 2011 – Entertainment and Education

Taking place from the 8th through to the 12th of December in Nepal’s capital city, the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF)will be showcasing fifty-two films from twenty-two countries to audiences numbering in the thousands. One of the main objectives of this annual festival is to explore both the diversity and complexities of mountain life. Some of the topics covered by the film festival include the culture and social interaction of people living in remote mountainous regions of various countries, as well as focusing on environmental issues and sustainable development. The 2011 edition of KIMFF coincides with the promotion of tourism by Nepal’s authorities in a program called “Nepal Tourism Year 2011”, and organizers have taken the opportunity to feature a selection of films which have made an impact on promoting Nepal’s tourism opportunities to the international community.

The Film Selection Committee of the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival watched all 258 entries received between April and July this year, before selecting forty-four films to be shown during the festival’s program in Kathmandu. Seventeen of these films will compete for first, second and third place in the International Competition category, while twenty-one will be screen in the International Non-Competitive section, with six contributions by Nepali filmmakers being shown in the Nepal Panorama category. Additionally, six films featured at Finland’s Tampere Film Festival will also be screened as part of the KIMFF.

While the event in Kathmandu is a festive occasion offering audiences the opportunity to meet members of the film industry, not all film enthusiasts are able to make the trip to Kathmandu. With this in mind, each year a range of films are chosen to take to the people living in the more remote areas of Nepal, thereby promoting intercultural dialogue and the educational benefits of audio-visual technology. In addition to offering some entertainment value, the films chosen also address more serious issues of climate change, gender inequality, and conflict resolution. During the 2010 event, approximately 35,000 attended the screenings and associated audience interaction programs.

As the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival celebrates its ninth event in 2011, it has been noted that in addition to filmmakers, film fans and film critics, the festival has also attracted the interest of scholars, activists, journalists and mountaineers, which has all contributed to the success of the event, and will hopefully continue to do so in the future.