International folk film fest on

KATHMANDU: Aiming to promote folk music, culture and films, the 6th International Folk Music Film Festival began in the Capital on November 24 at the Rastriya Nachghar, Jamal, which will end on November 26.

For the three-day festival, 115 films participated in the festival from across the world. Twenty-eight films from 18 countries including Bangladesh, France, Portugal, Congo, Nepal, the UK, the USA, Oman  and Japan, have been selected and are being screened at the fest. Four films from Nepal have been selected.

Films — from three minutes to 90 minutes long — are being screened at the festival organised by the Music Museum of Nepal and co-organised by Rastriya Nachghar.

Festival coordinator Ram Prasad Kandel said, “We are very rich in culture and music. We have 125 ethnic groups and diversity in music, culture and instruments. To develop and promote this music and culture, we are organising the festival. To introduce our festival first we should also see others’ cultures. Thus, we decided to create a platform to exchange cultures and make our culture known across the world.”

This year the slogan of the festival is ‘Music for Life, Music for Survival’. Clarifying the slogan Kandel said, “Our artistes are still struggling to survive. So, to promote these artistes and their skills to a wider audience and to draw the attention of authorities concerned, we have selected this slogan.”

The Long Best Film Award (30-90 mins) and Short Best Film Award (3-29 mins) will be announced on November 26. In each category, the best and two commendation awards to three filmmakers will be given. The six winners will be selected by a three-member jury — filmmakers Pradeep Kumar Upadhyay from Nepal, Karen Boswall from the UK, and French director Jacques Sarasin.

Similarly, this year singer Khushi Ram Pakhrin, who has contributed to folk music by singing awareness-related songs, will be honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award.

The festival opened with the screening of Muktir Gaan (Songs of Freedom) by Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud. The documentary features the cultural troupe of Bangladesh of 1971, who fought for the nation’s independence by singing revolutionary folk songs.

Nepali folk dance — Maruni, and sounds of sarangi were also showcased at the opening event.

The films are being screened from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Entry is free.