Katmandu, April, 14th, 2017 (IAWRT). The International Association of Women in Radio and Television in Nepal held its inaugural film festival in the capital city, Kathmandu on April 10 2017. The head of the Nepal Chapter, Anupa Shrestha, says the one day event showcased women’s productions from countries including Nepal, India, Japan, China and Malaysia.

It opened with IAWRT’s latest global documentary, Velvet Revolution, and screened Nepalese films and selections from the 13th Annual Asian Women’s Film Festival held in Deli, India, in March. The showing of IAWRT’s 2017 documentary, directed by Nupur Basu about women journalists facing down danger and threats in Asian and Africa, was attended by the documentary editor, Reena Mohan and one of the directors from the participating countries, Deepika Sharma, from India.

Nepali films were Butte Jama about a young girl living in Tajpuria village in Eastern Nepal, directed by Kala Sangroula, and Radio Melamchi 107.2, directed by Rajeela Shrestha. It revived the sad memories of last year's earthquake, relating how a local radio station in Sindhupalchok, one of the worst affected districts, managed to keep broadcasting. The director was in attendance.

The Film Festival showcased women directed short and experimental films from China, Japan and India, as well as animations and soundphiles - women artists producing audio soundcsapes.

The IAWRT India Chapter organises the Asian Women's Film Festival, and worked hard to make the Nepal festival a reality. The  members of the traveling festival committee - Anjali Monteiro and Bina Paul - curated the day long Nepal festival. Filmmakers and the curators of different genres of the Indian Festival, as well as the Chapter head Archana Kapoor, traveled to Kathmandu to facilitate discussions.

Two Panel discussions were included in the packed schedule. The first, Women in Mainstream Media, involved two Nepali representatives to United Nations entities on women, Wenny Kusuma and Bandana Rana, and the founding editor of Himal Southasia, Kanak Mani Dixit.

The second panel, entitled Film Productions: Scenario for Women in Nepal examined the future for local films with Suchitra Shrestha, the President of Nepal Film Directors and Nepal’s first female movie director; Basanta Thapa, the director of the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, and Nirmala Sharma, the President of Sancharika Samuha (a forum of women communicators).

The afternoon feature length film was Harikatha Prasanga by Indian Director, Ananya Kasaravalli, about an Indian Yakshagana actor and his decision to adopt a woman’s persona.