SAFMA docu fest ends

KATHMANDU: The last day of the First South Asian Interactive Documentary Festival had interactive sessions, documentary screenings and the awards ceremony. Papers were presented by Kesang Tseten, Krishnaswamy and Abdul Qayeum Karim on ‘Trends in Documentaries’ and ‘Dichotomy of Social Interest and Commercial Viability’. Screening of the films Bhooli hui ho dastaan directed by Adnan Malik from Pakistan, and a special screening of Passing on by K Bikram Singh from India was held in the afternoon.

Coordinator Sarah Tareen said the participation by Nepalis was really inspiring, adding as Nepal has the ‘will’ and there will be a ‘way’. She stressed that South Asian countries do not lack subject or content, and one needs to think why documentaries are not happening here. “Its time to overcome our weaknesses and work on our strengths,” she said.

Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General, SAFMA, was surprised at the fact that the young audience had sat for hours and hours to watch these documentaries and be a part of the discussions. He added that the message of peace, reconciliation, conflict and others should not be confined to the hall, but a new step should be now taken by this audience. He also had good news for young film-makers, as soon they will be organising a training for young film-makers and Nepalis film-makers will receive four scholarships.

The awards were distributed by senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. The first prize winner was Ki Jana Mein Kaun directed by Sharjil Baloch from Pakistan. Defiant Art by Sharni Jayawardena from Sri Lanka was the second prize winner, and The Wait Continues by Mohan Mainali won the third prize. A Special Award was also given to Cave Living directed by Nafisa Sahar from Afghanistan. The winners won cash prizes of $3000, $2000, $1000 and $500 respectively.