8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival

Festival Summary:

This article has been furnished on the basis of the information collected from the six days of Nepal Human Rights International film festival. The information presented in this article is the first hand information collected from the film festival.

Organizer: Human Rights Film Center (HRFC)

Co-Organizer: National Human Rights Commission

Promoter: Film development board

Supported by: European union, Germany Embassy for Nepal, Arts for peace, International commission of Juries (ICJ), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), UK research and innovation (UKRI), Thailand Embassy of Nepal.

Collaborative Partner: Global Migration film festival, Human rights film network, Canadian high commission in India.

Solidarity Partners: High commission of Canada, engendered, Federation of sexual and gender minorities of Nepal (FSGMN), Blue diamond society (BDS), Dignity Initiatives, Collective campaign for peace (COCAP), Paurakhi Nepal, Oscar International College, Consortium Nepal, Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal (JCYCN), Association of youth organization Nepal (AYON), Sustainable Himalayan Foundation, Human Rights and Environmental Education Center (HUREC), SDG studio, Forum for Wild Life and Environment Preserved (fowep).

HRFC have been organizing Nepal International Human Rights Film Festival every year. This year, 52 films from 29 different countries has been shortlisted for the screening. In the festival all kinds of films were screened including Featured films, Documentary film, Short films, Animation and more. The festival was reached with more than 100000 people worldwide through social media, App, email, Zoom and other online medium.

Despite films screening, various discussion series was organized with Film directors, film makers and films artist on different topics such as “Women in Asian Cinema: Better portrayal and participation”, “Youth on Nepali Cinema: What we want to see”, ” Portrayal of the Minorities in Nepali Cinema”.

The festival was organized virtually due to covid-19, pandemic. Zoom platform and chalchitra TV (web and app) were used throughout the festival.


The festival had aim to enhance the human rights through films, that have contributed to make government agencies and different stakeholders accountable towards Human Rights violation. They have learned about handling HR violation issues from experiences of other countries. Similarly, this festival has also benefit for the human rights organizations and civil society organizations in terms of learning from other’s and that can contribute for their advocacy works.

NHRIFF had focused on human rights films and targets the audiences, who are involved in human rights defending, youths, minorities, excluded groups, women etc.

In the context of Nepal, the human rights issues have rooted hardly from the beginning; the rights of women, rights to indigenous peoples, child rights, and freedom of speech to all the peoples, dalit rights, madhesi rights has not been addressed in reality.

Objectives of Festival

-To motivate every single film maker to make films on human rights issues through sharing of the international platform

-To educate people about their rights through films made on thematic issues and what is going on internationally

-To provide insight for stakeholders on HR violation and abuse issues in the country through films made on HR issues in Nepal

-To bringing together film makers, HR Defenders and stakeholders for common understanding at different levels of government

-To promote film tourism inside the country


-52 films from 29 different countries have participated during the festival. Majority of the films addressed the issues of human rights.

-The festival is reached with more than 100000 people, that spread the messages about human rights.

-We have conducted 3 panel discussion on the topic of youth, women, minorities, that brought out he issues from different prospective

-Stakeholders ranging from local, national and international level were participated in the festival.

-The participation of 42 international films during festival have contributed to promote film tourism in Nepal.

Activities during 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival:

Day 1 (25 November 2020): Opening of festival

Inaugural Ceremony:

The festival was inaugurated through online platform ZOOM at 10:00 AM (Nepal Time) on November 25, 2020.

The inaugural ceremony of the 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival commenced with the remarks by dignitary Hon. Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. He wished for the success of the festival and inspired the participants.

“Human Rights is superior of humanity. so it’s always greater than any gender, cast, color, and all types of political ideologies, therefore world’s community has taken it as the most important principal about life” (Hon. Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation)

The program was followed by opening remarks.

Mr. Arun Deo Joshi, Chairman of festival, formally welcomed everyone to the opening ceremony followed by objectives sharing of the festival.

Opening remarks delivered by Mr. Bed Prasad Bhattarai, Secretary NHRC; Mr. Dayaram Dahal, President film development board, H.E. Nona Deprez, Ambassador of the European union delegation to Nepal; Ms. Ananda Breed, Professor, Lincoln University, UK, Ms. Lorena Lend, Chief of mission for Nepal, IOM, Bishnu Bahadur Khatri, Chairman of Human Rights Film Center.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Bishnu Bahadur Khatri, chairman of human rights film center.  The entire opening ceremony was facilitated by Mr. Hiranya Joshi, general secretary human rights film center.

All speakers have presented the current scenario of human rights in Nepal and the world.  They acknowledged the festival and said “this kinds of festival brings out the human right’s issues from the community”.

In the end, Mr.  Bishnu Bahadur Khatri (Chairman, HRFC) offered a vote of thanks to all.


More than 70 people have participated on opening ceremony of Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival, representing from various organization, Journalist, representative from different CSOs, Film Makers, youths. The entire event was live from official  YouTube channel and Facebook page of Huma Rights Film Center.

Film Screening:

Six films from 7 countries was screened on first day of film festival through Chalachitra TV (Web and app) platform. None of the films were geologically locked for audience. The uploaded films at Chalchitra TV were available to audience for 24 hours.


DAY 1: 25TH November 2020

1 Film Name: Opening Film: Cachada (81Min)

Director: Marlen Vinayo

Country: El Salvador

Synopsis: Five Salvadoran women, street vendors and single mothers, form a theatre company and accept the challenge of putting on a play through which they’ll bring their harsh life stories to the stage. What began as an experiment has turned into the only opportunity to transform their lives, but will they be able to face their past and get over their fears, traumas and dark secrets?

Filmed over a year and a half, this observational documentary is witness to the rehearsals process of their play, through which they will discover themselves as victims and victimizers, realizing that they have educated their children without overcoming the pain of the past. The cycle of violence is perverse, but the force of the theater is more powerful.

2 Film Name: Empty Skies (19 min)

Director: Wenting Deng Fisher and Luke Fisher

Country: USA

Synopsis: A boy and his new friend hunt their village’s last sparrow for a reward to save his sick Grandma during Communist China’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1961).

3 Film Name: Omaraska (19 min)

Director: Varun Sasindran

Country: Bosnia, Herzegovina

Synopsis: In this film, the filmmaker enters into conversation with the survivors of the Omarska concentration camp in Prijedor (Bosnia-Herzegovina). The film begins with the recollection of their memories and eventually touches on the present situation of the former camp.

Former site of the concentration camp Omarska is now a factory owned byvArcelor Mittal Company. The company’s manufacturing process now takes place where the civilians used to be detained.

Despite of several requests from survivors, there is no memorial for the killed victims at Omarska. Once in a year, the premises are open to public for the commemoration. Film intents to construct a memorial in 3D animation from the archive images, videos, recent photographs -guided by the testimonies of the survivors of the camp.

4 Film Name: Have a Nice Day (25 min)

Director: Kok Rui Lau

Country: Malaysia

Synopsis: Babar, a Pakistani immigrant left with nothing, finds as he comes out of jail that his wife, Hina, and son, Ali, had left their home. Reluctantly, he seeks help from his good friend Numan, and learns that Hina wants to divorce him. To salvage the marriage, Babar tries to find work to prove that he is ready for a new life. Yet, his lack of education, criminal record and ethnicity mean constant discrimination in Hong Kong. At one interview, he learns that driving for riding apps pays well, but the activity is targeted by the police. Taking a risk, he borrows a car from Numan and begins his career as a desperate app driver on this illegal enterprise. However, his unruly appearance turns off many customers and earns him nothing but negative reviews.  To save his driving career, he heeds the advice of the app instructor and shaves off what Muslim men consider sacrosanct, his beard…

5 Film Name: The Valley (75 min)

Director: Nuno Escuderio

Country: France

Synopsis: Over the past two years, refugees started taking mountain routes to cross the French-Italian border. Soon, the population rushed to help them in order to prevent humanitarian tragedy, entering a battle with the State, which responded with a wave of repression that revealed a system of human rights violations.

6 Film Name: In Search of Bidesia (65 min)

Director: Simit Bhagat

Country: India

Synopsis: In Search of Bidesia is a musical documentary on Bhojpuri folk music that connects the history of indentured labour migration from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to the last living musicians in these states, who are now struggling to ensure these songs of love and longing do not slip into oblivion.

Day 2 (26 November 2020):

Film screening:

11 films were screened through chalachitra TV (Web and App) on that day. Three of them were geologically locked to the audience. The uploaded films were available for 24 hours to watch to the audience.

List of screened films on day 2:

1 Film Name: Crisis (1 min)

Director: Cesare Maglioni

Country: France/Spain

Synopsis: In the middle of Western Sahara Desert, where no water, no trees, no animals live but a bunch of refugees, struggling in poverty to survive the harsh habitat, the least of the problem one might face is the environmental crisis. But indeed it is here that emerges the common cause to the world modern sickness: poverty and environmental crisis are two sides of the same coin: “We have to realize that the water crisis, that the environmental crisis, it is not a “cause”, the “cause” is the civilization model we built and what we have to change is our way of living! Development cannot be against happiness, it has to be in support of human happiness, of love on earth, of human relations, for taking care of children, for having friends, for having the essential! When we fight for the environment, the first environmental element we have to protect is called “human happiness”!

2 Film Name: A Second Family (8 min)

Director: Ramon Sanchez Orense, Susanne Krauss

Country: Congo

Synopsis: Goma, DR Congo. Amina’s mother couldn’t afford a “normal “school for her only daughter. She took her to a school for deaf children even though Amina could hear perfectly well. That day Amina’s life changed. Amina learned the sign language and a few years later, in 2018, she started to coach Goma’s first basketball team of deaf people. They train every day. Very hard. And they dream big. One day they wish to participate in international competitions. For Amina and her team basketball is an escape route – and a second family.

3 Film Name: Harmony for After War (27 min)

Director Name: Pablo Tosco, Migue Roth

Country: Spain

Synopsis: Music does not end the war, but it helps to exorcise it. Syrian Kurdistan was destroyed by long years of war; On those ruins, however, musicians, poets, teachers, and dozens of kids are playing instruments that replace the lacerating noises of violence.

The Kurdish musician Gani Mirzo, exiled in Barcelona, ​​promoted a campaign (with the participation of Musicians without Borders and organizations from the Basque Country) to bring more than two hundred instruments to the area; This diary portrays the intimacy of the trip and the encounter with the artists of resilience.

The eight years of war in Syria left a country devastated; 500,000 dead and twelve million displaced. In the region, fighting continues in specific areas and problems of access and free movement continue. But for the Kurds, music is resistance; “And that’s why,” says Gani, “we made this project concrete: because thanks to music we are alive.”

These are the stories and dreams of musicians and poets who are committed to reconstruction through art.

4 Film Name: Blow Back (30 min)

Director Name: Terence McSweeney, George Lee

Country: UK

Synopsis: What is the relationship between any given film and the culture which produces it? Blowback: The 9/11 Wars in Global Film interrogates how cinema, and in particular the war film, plays a pivotal role in constructing how societies come to understand and even remember the wars in which they participate. The documentary argues, with help from some of the foremost scholars in the field, that war films are profoundly affectual cultural artefacts which crystallise an image of their respective conflict that becomes influential at the time of their release and, perhaps even more importantly, in the decades after.

5 Film Name: Alter the Change (3 min)

Director Name: Jayanti Kunwar

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: The story is forged with these entities that unfortunately got discounted, when the country was going through the chains of “metamorphosis” wholly. The story is tied around the tales, the mother tells the daughter, when she eventually surrenders all vulnerable. (Symbolically, representing nation and her citizens). It’s a tale of that unfortunate body, which can be accessed by these courtrooms and grand assemblies, but herself! Other metaphors also talk about our celebrated hypocrisy as a society, as we pray these “goddess” and degrade the same gender afterwards. A poetic short film that touches on the various ways gender oppress us, or the use of women’s bodies as a proxy for nationalism or by inhibiting the gender expression of others. We think the tolerant earth, at least, might be invincible, only to find out we have wrecked her a while ago.

6 Film Name: Mobile arts for peace (MAP) (30 min)

Director Name: Deus kwizera

Country: Rwanda

7 Film name: Wells of Hope (30 min)

Director Name: Lia Beltrami

Country: Italy

Synopsis: The day we left Syria, the bombings were as strong as rain” Hence the story of Shaima, fleeing the war, kidnapped as a victim of trafficking. Is there still hope? You cannot live without it. Among stones, deserts, mountains and dust, a group of brave Arab women gives life to Wells of Hope, to give answers to the drama of trafficking, together with the worldwide network Talita Kum. They are women of different religions who live in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria. They move between borders, conflicts and refugees. They want to restore the dignity of the victims and rebuild the dignity of the abused people. The path is not easy, but the determination of these women will open a new way.

8 Film Name: The School Bus (14 min) (GEO-Locked)

Director Name: Ramazan Kilic

Country: Turkey

Synopsis: Nebahat, a teacher in her 20s, has just been appointed to a rural village school in Anatolia. She realizes that her students are struggling to arrive at school, hitchhiking tractors, using whatever means they can find. She asks the Ministry of Education for a shuttle, but without a driver, the vehicle is useless. So, she decides to be the bus driver for her students but there is a small problem!

9 Film name: Ampitheatre (16 min) (GEO-Locked)

Director Name:  Mahdi Ali Ali

Country: Qatar

Synopsis: A professional Qatari photographer is intrigued by the rebellion of a teenage girl from her conservative family as they take pictures of the frescoes in a cultural village. She pursues the teenage girl, documenting her rebellion until the family rebukes her. After discovering the girl’s hideout, the photographer follows her into an amphitheater, where she expresses her inner voice.

10 Film Name: Maid in Hell (60 min) (GEO-Locked)

Director Name: Søren Klovborg

Countries: Denmark, Lebanon, Kenya

Synopsis: 35-year-old Mary Kibwana is just one of thousands of women who lived through hell working as a domestic helper in Jordan. She is a mother of four and was lucky to return to her home in Kenya. She arrived in a wheelchair with 70 percent of her body burned. Two months later she died.  Harassment, abuse, rape and 18-hour work days are a commonplace reality for domestic helpers who have travelled to the Middle East to find employment. Trapped in the Kafala system, their passports are confiscated and they are bound to their employer. Unable to flee, they risk harsh punishments or imprisonments if they try.

‘Maid in Hell’ gives unprecedented access to this frightening and brutal form of modern slavery. Following employment agents who vividly describe the trade, as well as maids who struggle to find a way home after harrowing, and sometimes, deadly experiences, we come to understand the grotesque reality faced by thousands of women each day.

11 Film Name: Call Me Intern (70 min)

Director Name: Leo David Hyde and Nathalie Berger

Country: New Zealand

Synopsis: Meet the millennial fighting back against unpaid work. Call Me Intern follows three interns-turned-activists who refuse to accept that young people should have to work for free to kick start their careers. Their stories challenge youth stereotypes and help give a voice to the growing movement for intern rights across the world.

Day 3 (27 November 2020)

Film Screening:

Seven films from different countries was screened on third day of NHRIFF. Two of them were geo-locked. The films were screened through Chalchitra TV (Web and app).

List of screened films:

1 Film: Down to Earth (3 min)

Director: Franscesc Nogueras

Country: Spain

Synopsis: An alien tells us his years of experience on earth and the disappointments he has had throughout his life

2 Film: Kenin

Director: Elisa Moar

Country: Canada

Synopsis: A deeply moving personal poem that embodies the #me-too movement

3 Film: Chitrapuri Nagar

Director: Rajeela Shrestha

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: A historical route trod for centuries by legions of travelers was suddenly abandoned after the construction of the Tribhuvan Highway. But the ancient village that was its hub, Chitrapuri Nagar, remains of great socio-cultural importance.

4 Film: Sampi

Director: Arttu Nieminen

Country: Finland

Synopsis: Nonverbal poetic journey through the mental landscape of the Sápmi. An anthropological dive into the cultural nuances and everyday life of the sámi, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe.

5 Film: Force of Nature

Director: Stural Gunnarsson

Synopsis: This feature documentary profiles the life and work of world-renowned Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster and activist David Suzuki on the occasion of his last lecture in 2009—a lecture he describes as “a distillation of my life and thoughts, my legacy, what I want to say before I die.” As Suzuki reflects on his family history—including the persecution of Japanese Canadians during WWII—and his discovery of the power and beauty of the natural world, we are spurred to examine our own relationship to nature, scientific knowledge, and sustainability throughout modernity and beyond.

6 Film: Dust

Director: Udita Bhargava

Country: Germany

Synopsis: DUST tells the story of intertwining lives set against the maoist conflict/ left wing insurgency in central India. It’s a story of loss and displacement, of love, loyalty and survival. Poetic and political, DUST gives a glimpse into a people’s struggle that rarely gets attention in the mainstream media, yet has shaped the lives of thousands living in the subcontinent.

7 Film: Congo calling

Director: Stephan Hillpert

Country: Germany

Synopsis: In crisis-ridden eastern Congo, three European development aid workers are forced to question what it means to help. Raúl, a French-Spanish economist doing research on rebel groups, realizes that he is leading his Congolese colleagues into great temptation with his project funds, putting their study at risk of failing. After 30 years in Africa, Peter, from Germany, reaches retirement age and is unable to renew his job contract. He is fighting a losing battle to stay in Congo and to preserve his identity as an aid worker. And the relationship of Anne-Laure, from Belgium, is put to the test when her Congolese boyfriend, after a stay in prison, becomes a high-profile regime critic. Deeply personal insights into coexistence and cooperation between Europe and Africa – and the question: how helpful is the help of the West?

Panel Discussion:

Despite films screening, panel discussion about “WOMEN IN ASIAN CINEMA: BETTER PORTRAYAL AND PARTICIPATION” was organized to bring out the issues of women on cinema. The discussion was focused on how cinema addresses the issues of women in Asia. The discussion was live through official Facebook page of Human Rights Film Center.

Summary of panel discussion:

There are certain barriers for film makers to address the issues of human rights from women’s prospective. It is due to audience psychology towards film. For example, in general women in the society are dominating, and film makers tends to show the same scenario on films to represent the natural society. On the other hand, women film makers are very limited in Asia.

There are many independent women film makers, they have great talent however, they are not able to make film because of financial barrier, cultural barrier and more.  In majority community of south Asia, the voice of women is missing in films.

From the past few years, we can find various social film making program that really address the issues of young women in the community. This types of practice are great way to bring out the issues.

Link for discussion video:



Director, Freedom Film Network, Malaysia


Cultural Producer, Curator and Founder/Director of Engendered, New York/New Delhi, India


Play-Writer, Journalist and Peace Movement Activist, South Korea


Film Critic and Screenwriter, Bangladesh



Independent Filmmaker and Media Entrepreneur, Nepal

The panelists have shared their experience and learning of their life on the discussion. The panel discussion has carried out about one and half hours.

Day 4 (28 November 2020)

Film Screening: Nine films from nine different countries were screened on fourth day of 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival. One of them was geo-locked for audience.

The films were opened for 24 hours to the audience.

List of screened films:

1 Film: Form & function

Director: The Art Collective called: “Are You Artists or Cops”

Country: Canada

Synopsis: A look into human perception, how human’s evaluated possible interactions or affordances – and expectation revision through the lens of a shared experience – getting ready.

2 Film: Songs of sparrow

Director: Farzaneh Omidvarnia

Country: Denmark

Synopsis: Based on a real event, in Austria 2015, and in Ireland 2019… A Group of refugees tries to reach themselves to a safe country in search for a better life. They pay a smuggler to convey them across the boarders in a fridge truck. However, the freezing temperature of the truck turns their hopes for a better future into a fierce struggle for survival.

3 Film: Kalam

Director: Prabin Kumar Rawat

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Set during the outset of the Nepali civil war, the story follows an innocent teenager. Even though people are leaving the village and migrating to India to work for a living, he keeps disobeying them because he wants to play in an upcoming football tournament. But the shadows of the violence brewing throughout the country also reaches his village and changes everything. Based on a true story, this film is about innocence, childhood, migration and lost dreams.

4 Film: Born in gambia

Director: Natxo Leuza Fernandez

Country: Spain

Synopsis: Hassan is a child who lives on the street. His brother was accused of witchcraft and burned alive in front of him. His stepfather tells him the devil is inside, so he runs away so they do not kill him. Hassan always has a tape recorder with which he tells us about his life, that of other children and that of a beautiful country, but anchored in dan.

5 Film: Gaine

Director: Pradeep Dhakal

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Every day in the hills of Bhojpur, Pashuram an old Gandharva, works in his field. He has been a gaine fated by his caste to become a travelling musician. A man who wandered towns with his sarangi, spreading information through his song. Journalists of the old days. Residing in the same village are other Gandharvas who believe that their role in the society has changed with the dawn of new media. with time, many Gandharvas have migrated and found new way to sustain themselves, whereas other still maintain loyalty to their caste, to the occupation, and to the music of their sarangi.

6 Film: I will love u till the end

Director: Bex Singleton

Country: UK

Synopsis: I’ll Love You Till the End is an intimate film that sensitively examines the experience of those bereaved when someone they love takes their own life. Through recounting her own experience of her father’s suicide, and capturing revealing interviews with mothers’, sisters and brothers, director Bex Singleton opens a window into what happens for those left behind when every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life.

7 Film: Blues of pink

Director: Grishma Giri

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: This documentary is a portrayal of a life and a character whose stories and experience are mostly unheard. The transgender community of the Terai is very diverse unlike in the hilly region. They have a certain culture and practices that has been an integral part of their identity and their work, which connects them with rest of the society. Shot at the land of King Janak, this documentary tries to showcase the various spectrum of life that a transgender lives. From the broken marriage to the understanding relationship, from the desire to raise the child to not being able to watch the child grow up, from giving blessings to thinking that their life is a curse, this documentary will intrigue you in different levels.

8 Film: Soundless dance

Director: Pradeepan Raveendran

Country: France

Synopsis: In the spring of 2009, Sri Lanka’s decade’s long civil war is entering its most violent phase. Siva, a young Sri Lankan refugee living illegally in France, has lost contact with the family he was forced to leave behind. Haunted by the trauma of the war that devastated his childhood and obsessed by the flow of images on the Internet, Siva sinks into a waking dream that propels him into the heart of the battlefield.

9 Film: The sako tapes

Director: Machiel Van Den Heuvel

Country: Netherlands

Synopsis: A film about Sako, an eccentric Indonesian man with Chinese roots. Sako is struggling with his past. He is traumatized because of the murder of his innocent father, who was one of the approximately half to a million alleged communists that were killed in the transition period to the Suharto regime in Indonesia in 1965. Besides communists, a number of farmers, unionists and Chinese were also among the victims. Sadly, this brutal period is still taboo in Indonesia and what makes it more painful for Sako is that during this time, he supported the responsible regime. To break the taboo and process his trauma, Sako ventured out with his camcorder and filmed people close to him and talked with them about their experiences related to this past.

Panel discussion:

Minorities in Nepal are vulnerable in terms of accessibility, participation, exposure. How the films have been addressing the voice of minorities and what should be done through cinema to uplift the issues of minorities in Nepal? The panel discussion was organized on day 4th of film festival. Virtual panel discussion using zoom platform was conducted. The panelists of the discussion were from various group including disability, LGBTIQ, journalist, film maker, researcher.

Discussion Summary:

Films, short films, serials produced in Nepal does not really respect to the people with disability. The character presented in the film shows that disabled people are only for the laughing character.

Similar case exists in the context of madheshi women, LGBTIQ peoples, dalits and other excluded minorities in Nepal. Panelist have requested all film makers to show respected scene of such character.

Link for discussion video:


Film maker, Script writer
Joint Secretary, National Human Rights Commission of Nepal

Writer, Researcher

Day 5 (29 November 2020)

Film Screening:

The festival was started with the screening of films through chalchitra TV (Web and App). For day 5 total 11 films were scheduled and one of them was Geo locked.

Total participating countries for this day was eight and three films were from Nepal.

List of screened films:

1 Film: Girl Friends (6 min)

Director: Camila Rodo Carvailo

Country: Chile

Synopsis: After an unfortunate event at a party, two friends decide to take action on the matter.

2 Film: Mattress (7 min)

Director: Murshida Zaman

Country: Bangladesh


3 Film: Siya (14 min)

Director: Mira Gurung

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Siya is a story of a dowry system of Nepal specially in Terai area, by which many lives of women are in risk. This short film also depicts the journey to heaven of a woman who died from the same reason(dowry) with her queries of life to herself

4 Film: Lasagna (26 min)

Director: Adi Victory

Country: Indonesia

Synopsis: Approaching Rudi’s execution (Mirna’sHusband), Mirna was asked to come to the prison with a Lasagna. Her husband wishes to enjoy the Lasagna with Mirna for the very last time. But when Mirna came with the Lasagna, Rudi chooses not to eat it.

5 Film: The dead die once (8 min)

Director: Max McGillivray, Alex Morelli

Country: USA

Synopsis: Based on a surreal short story by Syrian writer Jehan Sayed Issa, The Dead Die Once follows a refugee living in the U.S. whose evening is transformed by the power of memory. When her kitchen radio picks up familiar voices demanding freedom, she is drawn into a space where food unites the living and the dead.

6 Film: Abuelo (8 min)

Director: Caque and Juan Trueba

Country: Spain

Synopsis: In “Oldman” we have tried to deepen into a reality not so far from ours. The abandonment in the third age has been our excuse to talk about the loss of values and selfishness in which our society is installed.

7 Film: In Broad Dayligh (10 min)

Director: Isra Calzado Lopez

Country: Spain

Synopsis: In broad daylight, in a random city and in the next couple minutes, Carla’s life will depend on a Negotiation of four armed men.

8 Film: Come over for a drink, Kanchhi (26 min)

Director: Sikuma Rai

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Adit, on the way to a pilgrimage to dip the final ashes of someone, along with his friend talks about religion, their beliefs and faith. Their ceaseless contradiction in their values stays with them throughout the journey. The film pursues their avidity until they bid their final farewell.

9 Film: My Life My Choice (11 min)

Director: Rmita Chhuju/Tashia Kobylinsa

Country: Nepali


10 Film: Digital Karma (78 min) (GEO-Locked)

Director: Mark Olexa & Francesca Scalisi

Country: Switzerland

Synopsis: In a remote village nestled in the foggy hills of northern Bangladesh, Rupa fights against a predetermined destiny. With only a bike, a camera and her knowledge, she defies traditions and tries to make a place for herself in her community. When a twist of fate hits her family, Rupa’s freedom is threatened. Will she be able to maintain the fragile balance between the expectations of her loved ones and her own dreams?

11 Film: Cachada (81min)

Director: Marlen Vinayo

Country: El Salvador

Synopsis: Five Salvadoran women, street vendors and single mothers, form a theatre company and accept the challenge of putting on a play through which they’ll bring their harsh life stories to the stage. What began as an experiment has turned into the only opportunity to transform their lives, but will they be able to face their past and get over their fears, traumas and dark secrets?

Filmed over a year and a half, this observational documentary is witness to the rehearsals process of their play, through which they will discover themselves as victims and victimizers, realizing that they have educated their children without overcoming the pain of the past. The cycle of violence is perverse, but the force of the theater is more powerful.

Panel discussion:

Panel discussion about “YOUTH ON NEPALI CINEMA: WHAT WE WANT TO SEE” was organized. The major focus of the discussion was talk with youth to understand their prospective about Nepali cinema. Interesting discussion was moderated by Nabin Subba, Film director, Script writer and producer with youth from different sectors through zoom platform. The entire discussion was live through official Facebook page of Human Rights Film Center.





Children and youth activist


Freelance script writer, Content researcher and AD maker


Independent Film Maker



Film director, Script writer and producer

Audience of Facebook live also asked questions to the panelist. The overall discussion was interactive

Summary of discussion:

There are both negative and positive aspects in Nepali cinema from youth’s prospective. Young people does not entertain with Nepali films because:

-Youth like to see typical Nepalese’s theme, like presenting Nepali culture, Nepali dress, Nepali ideology. however, majority of the Nepali films does not present this.

-The theme presented in Nepali cinema are the shadow of Bollywood and Hollywood.

-The social issues in Nepali films are negatively presented. For example, women character in Nepali films always shown dominating.

-Film makers also have challenges to include all types of audience.

However, we can see better progress in Nepali cinema and short movies in recent years. Young artist, young film makers trying to address Nepali audiences.

Link for discussion video:

Day 6 (30 November 2020):

This is closing day of 8th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival. Ten films were screened through chalchitra TV (Web and App)

List of screened films:

1 Film: The Abandoned Boot (3 min)

Director: Sambhu Sen Thapa and Siman Khadka

Country: Nepal

2 Film: Atisarga (10 min)

Director: Neepil Sharma

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Adit, on the way to a pilgrimage to dip the final ashes of someone, along with his friend talks about religion, their beliefs and faith. Their ceaseless contradiction in their values stays with them throughout the journey. The film pursues their avidity until they bid their final farewell.

3 Film: The Hangman’s Place (15 min)

Director: Julien Bertrand

Country: France

Synopsis: Yesterday, a man was murdered in a street, in Cleveland. According to the initial findings of the investigation, several men have been arrested by the police, and among them, a potential witness whose identity is still unknown..

4 Film: Pari of Pokhara (22 Min)

Director: Babar Ali

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Pari is a young Nepalese woman, an aspiring actress and gifted dancer. She lives in a claustrophobic run-down shack in Pokhara, exiled there before the earthquake that killed her mother and destroyed the family home. She is a virtual servant to her aunt and gets no comfort or understanding from Asha, her older sister. The two continually feud over Pari’s choice of career and new friend – the handsome and seductive Abhinash from India. Abhinash coaches Pari in her acting, but more importantly supports her dreams and gives her a sense of freedom as they experience the beauty of Pokhara’s lakes and mountains. Abhi is a human trafficker, adept at multi-tasking. He romances Pari while sending pictures of her to his Indian handlers, negotiating her price. But then Abhinash starts developing true feelings for Pari and becomes conflicted between his job and those feelings. Pari begins to trust him – unaware of her possible peril.

5 Film: Dela (8 min)

Director: Bernard Attal

Country: Brazil/South Africa

Synopsis: Dela is a beautiful little girl with a mind of her own. She lives with her dad, a cook, on the magical island of Itaparica in Brazil’s Bay of All Saints. Dela does not understand why the kids at school make fun of her name and her hair. But she is determined to sort it out.

6 Film: Junu Ko Jutta (13 min)

Director: Kedar Shrestha

Country: Nepal

Synopsis: Junu, a five-year-old girl who has trouble learning left from right is constantly asked by elders around her to wear her shoes correctly. Yet she cannot solve the problem. After being tricked to wear shoes wrong way, she invents a new way of learning.

7 Film: Khana Khajana (15 min)

Director: Arka Das

Country: Bangladesh

Synopsis: A migrant worker discovers the dark side of immigrant labor as his boss begins to control his destiny.

8 Film: Elephant Bird (15 min)

Director: Amir Masoud Soheili

Country: Afghanistan

Synopsis: A mini-bus is on a journey across the mountains to Kabul. Each person on the bus has a reason to take this journey. An old man is traveling to give a turkey to his grandchild, as his last wish before dying. However, the main road is blocked by insurgents. They decide to use an alternative road, which is not very secure, and there is still the possibility of getting caught by insurgents.

9 Film: Khartoum Offside (75 min)

Director: Marwa Zein

Country: Sudan

Synopsis: A group of young ladies in Khartoum are determined to play football professionally. They are prepared to defy the ban imposed by Sudan’s Islamic Military government. Their battle to get officially recognized as Sudan’s National Woman’s team is fearless, courageous and often laughable. Through the intimate portrait of these women over a number of years we follow their moments of hope and deception. There is a new spark of hope when the elections within the federation could mean real change of the entire system.

10 Film: Can Art Stop Bullet (90 min

Director: Mark Street

Synopsis: Can Art temper violence when politics and reason fails? Can art stop bullets? Through the voices of some of the world’s most socially engaged artists and thinkers, William Kelly explores the role of art in achieving change in times of crisis. Drawing on iconic works that have shaken the world this film reaches from our past to our collective future….and it couldn’t be more timely.

Closing Ceremony:

A formal closing ceremony was organized through zoom platform at 4:00 PM (Nepal Time) on November 30, 2020. The chair of ceremony was Arun Deo Joshi, chairperson of film festival. Mr. Bed Prasad Bhattarai, Secretary NHRC was invited as chief guest of the closing ceremony. Mr. Bhattarai acknowledged the organizer and partners for organizing the festival during the worst situation of covid pandemic. He promised for continuous support from National Human Rights Commission to organize festival in coming years.

Mr. Pandav Khatri, Director of film festival delivered vote of thanks to everyone, who have supported during the festival.

Arun deo Joshi, Festival chair have formally closed the festival with his remarks. He also thanked to everyone who put solidarity on 8th Nepal Human Rights International film festival.

The closing ceremony was facilitated by Mr. Hiranya Joshi, General secretary of Human Rights Film Center.



Lessons learned within the festival:

Organizing virtual film festival was first experience. One of the major learning of the virtual event was the understanding and harmony promoted between film maker of diverse socio-cultural, geographic and professional backgrounds. Due to the pandemic, it was difficult to think of such event. However, film maker from every background signed up to contribute their part in supporting us to conduct the film festival.

This sense of common purpose to make festival successful created friendships, harmony and inter cultural understanding among the all film makers, youths, human rights activists, CSOs and people from diverse backgrounds.


Thank you!