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Broken Moon bags first prize at Kathmandu

The Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) 2010 has concluded with the top award in the international competition going to The Broken Moon (Brazil), directed by Marcos Negrao and Andre Rangel.

Announcing the winner, lead judge Terry Gifford described The Broken Moon as “brilliantly filmed, brilliantly lit and brilliantly framed.” He said the jury had not had any problem in selecting the winner; they unanimously felt that this film was outstanding.

Gifford said that landscape, casting, and music all had important roles in The Broken Moon and that the film addressed the festival theme at all levels. The theme of this year’s festival was migration and diversity.

The film is a documentary drama that takes place beyond the mountains of the Western Himalaya. It tells the story of Sonam, an old nomad who lives with his tribe in one of the harshest and most isolated regions on earth. Climate change is drying most of the rivers and transforming valleys into deserts, threatening the tribe’s survival.

A cleverly constructed plot, with a sting in the tail, brings out many of the tensions confronted by communities such as Sonam’s, not only in the Himalayas but in numerous other areas of the world where the young generation finds it more and more difficult to resist the pull of what they see as a better life “in the city”.

A Little Bit Mongolian (Australia), directed by Michael Dillon, and Shining Spirit: The Musical Journey of Jamyang Yeshi (Canada) directed by Karen McDiarmid came second and third respectively. The first prize US$1,500, second prize US$1,000, and third prize US$500 were sponsored by the Nepal Mountaineering Association, the Himal Association, and Sherpa Adventure Gear.

In the Nepal Panorama section Birami Sahar (Sick City) directed by Murray Kerr received the Best Film award while Darka Aasuharu (Tears of Fear) directed by Shabnamm Mukhiya received Special Mention. The best film from Nepal Panorama was awarded a cash prize of US$500 by the Film Development Board of Nepal. The Audience Award went to Saving Dolma, a documentary about a Nepali housemaid called Dolma, sentenced to death for allegedly killing a co-worker in Kuwait.

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