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Urmila prevails at KIMFF 2016


A still from Urmila – My Memory is My Power, the winner of KIMFF 2016 under International category. Photo: urmila-film.com

Kathmandu, December 14, 2016: Urmila- My Memory is My Power, a film by Susan Gluth has won the International category of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) 2016. With this victory, the film won a cash prize of USD 1500.

Urmila is an intimate portrait of a young woman who draws from the memories of her time as a slave the strength to make a stand against injustice. It is the story of a young lady who at the age of six Urmila Chaudhary was sold by her family as a household slave to people in the capital. She wants to change Nepal and fights with admirable energy against centuries-old social structures. She has but one goal: the end of child slavery.

Together with her fellow campaigners, she frees girls from captivity, demands of the Prime Minister the end of slavery, holds press conferences, travels to Oslo and New York – and tries back at home in Ghorahi to complete the next year at school. She has big plans: she wants to study and become a lawyer.

The deep-rooted traditions of bondage continue to keep the people in southern Nepal in abject poverty. She was eventually freed at the age of 17. Since then she has been trying to find her own way in life.

“We have chosen Urmila – My Memory is My Power as this year’s Main Competition First Prize because of its brilliantly executed and clearly structured documentary journey through the eyes of one young woman’s personal, brave and tireless fight for justice,” said the jury panel from the festival.

“For what is a very poignant, very real and distressing subject matter about an extremely remarkable young woman and her tireless efforts to save young female children from the fate that she suffered herself in Nepal society, the documentary is executed clearly in its facts through rhythmic editing and pacing but what makes it unique is not just for being beautifully shot, but also for the original, and at times almost lyrical way that it avoids being drawn into sentimentality and judgement so therefore consistently remaining impartial to the problems thereby letting the audience draw their own interpretations and conclusions from what they see and hear,” the jury panel further explained.

Similarly, In Search of Devaki by director Devaki Bista won the best documentary title at Nepal Panorama. Meanwhile, Best Fiction at the panorama was won by Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha.

Upendra Raj Pandey directorial Beyond the White Cane won the jury special mention at the festival. ‘Mira’, a movie on the trail runner Mira Rai bagged the Audience Award.

A Song for Barpak won the ICIMOD Best Mountain Film Award in the festival.

KIMFF this year had run from 8th to 12th December and saw screening of more than Eighty films from 28 different countries.