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Addressing educational challenges


In December of 2012, the Himal Association, Kath-mandu International Moun-tain Film Festival (KIMFF) and the Open Society Foundations got together to organise a documentary film competition that helped address some of the most pressing problems currently being faced by the educational system in Nepal.

Based on the theme Educating Nepal, the 44 short film submissions all dealt with important educational challenges, and the best out of these were shortlisted—by a judging panel made up of journalist Narayan Wagle, education specialist Pramod Bhatta (Phd), and filmmaker Subina Shrestha—in a top 10 which was screened at KIMFF.  The winning movies: Once Upon a Story, Apple and Balloon, which stood in the first, second and third places respectively, were all appreciated for the unique ways in which they raised important pedagogical issues that are pertinent to Nepal.

To help promote and advance discussion of these movies, a special screening event took place at the Martin Chautari premises on February 10. Those present not only viewed these films, but also partook in a critiquing discussion that took place once the film screenings were over. The winning movie, Once Upon a Story, is a rather amusing take on the dynamics of learning. The film tells the tale of small animated creatures who discover the science of pulleys on a secret visit to a school and use this knowledge to save the lives of thousands when a devastating flood leaves their homes and land inundated. Directed by Bishwa Darshan Nepal, the film uses camel ink and animated characters and makes for a rather engaging watch.

Since the programme at Martin Chautari was an analytic affair—organised with the aim of looking, not only at what these short films got right, but also examining how they could have been better—it gave those present a new perspective on things. Ajit Thapa, a guest at the event pretty much summed up the general consensus by saying, “Although the films were built around various educational problems, they were not able to exactly figure out and address individual problems that mar our education system.”

The movies cover a variety of issues though—from stories of young village women whose formal education is often interrupted by her early marriages, to those of

children who are compelled to quit school because of the poverty they live in. The films screened at the event made for interesting takes on education and certainly narrated a variety of stories that will resonate amongst us all.


Posted on: 2013-02-11 08:47