Five documentaries you don’t want to miss at Film Southasia ’19The 12th edition of the film festival will showcase 63 films, selected from more than 2,500 submissions from all over South Asia.
The 12th edition of Film Southasia (FSA) starts November 14, and will be screening documentaries up to November 17. The film festival will showcase 63 films that were selected from more than 2,500 submissions from all over South Asia.
Earlier renditions of the festival have struck a chord with audiences for their unusual themes, ‘Documentaries can be fun’, ‘Documentary bears witness’ among others. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Wherever Mind Is Free’, inspired by poet Rabindranath Tagore’s beloved poem.
Mitu Verma, the director of the festival, said that this year’s festival celebrates freedom, according to the press release issued by the festival. She suggests people approach the festival with an open mind and make their own judgements on the issues projected in the documentaries. “Nepal provides that free space where everybody from South Asia can come easily without travel restrictions, where they can meet and talk and discuss freely even as such spaces close up all over the region,” she is quoted.
When asked if this year’s festival would be any different from previous festivals, assistant festival director Alok Adhikari said, “We’re actually not aiming to do anything drastically different. But we do have a much broader collection of documentaries.” This year’s documentaries will be covering all sorts of issues, including women’s empowerment, animal abuse, LQBTIQ+ issues and reflect the immense diversity and plurality of the region.
The festival will be opened by Amrit Gurung, Nepal’s renowned folk rock artiste, and will feature Jawad Sharif’s film Indus Blues. A three-member jury, comprising Aiyesha Abraham, Sivamohan Sumathy and Kunda Dixit, will decide the winners from the competition.
While documentaries like After Sabeen, Abu, and The Monks Who Won The Grammy will be screened, here are five Film Southasia documentaries to look out for at the screenings for Film SouthAsia:
Directed by Pakistani director Jawad Sharif, Indus Blues is the story of indigenous musicians and craftsmen of Pakistan who struggle to keep their music and instruments alive. The documentary takes you on a journey across Pakistan showcasing rich, diverse and colourful musical traditions that are slowly fading away. The documentary, which is going to be screened at the opening of the festival, has also won the Grand Jury Prize at Guam International Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at the South Film and Arts Academy Festival.
The feature documentary Abu by Pakistani-Canadian Director Arshad Khan is a story of self-discovery and family reconciliation that resulted from the director’s migration from Pakistan to India. Composed of family footage, the documentary explores the director’s relationship with his father after he comes out to him as a gay man and the process of reconciliation. The winner of seven Audience and Jury awards, the documentary will be screened on November 15, the second day of Film Southasia.
Kabul, City in the Wind
Shot in Kabul, Afghanistan, by Aboozar Amini, Kabul, City in the Wind portraits the city of Kabul that is destroyed by political and religious powers, through the experiences of two children and a bus driver. The winner of eight awards, the documentary will also be screened on November 15, the second day of the festival.
We are with Dr KC
We are with Dr KC is a documentary by Nepali directors Gopal Shivakoti and Govinda Shivakoti. The documentary is about Dr Govinda KC’s journey in seeking reforms in medical institutions with over 100 days on hunger strike. The documentary will be screened on November 15, the second day of the film festival.
The documentary Bamboo Stories is directed by Shehnaaz Dill-Riaz. The documentary is about a group of men in North-Eastern Bangladesh who are supposed to conquer a river with a 70-metre long raft with 2,500 bamboo trees. The documentary will be screened on November 17, the fourth and the final day of the film festival.
Film Southasia ’19 will be open from November 14, Thursday, to November 17, Sunday, at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka.