Indigenous Film Archive

Documenting, archiving & Promoting Indigenous Cultural Practices, Skills, Knowledge & Wisdom Through Films.

NIIFF 2011

 NIIFF(Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival) 2011

 NIIFF 2011 was successfully organized from April 22-25, 2011. Altogether, 42 indigenous  films were screened from 20 different countries viz, Australia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, India, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Peru, Sweden, Taiwan and Vietnam. Among 42 films, 7 were from Nepal and mostly were from Canada. The genre of films included 26 documentaries, 10 Fiction films, 5 Short films and 1 Music Videos. Films were screened in two venues City Hall and Nepal Tourism Board, near Exhibiton Road, Kathmandu. Click here to view Films screened during NIIFF 2011

7 international filmmakers Tanya Ruka and Sophie Aroha Johnson, Marie Helene Cousineau, Denise Zmekhol, Minnie Vaid, Jia Wei and Kit Lee and Marek Stepien from New Zealand, Canada, US, India, Taiwan and Poland respectively attended the festival in person to present their films and provided audiences an opportunity to interact about issues that are important to women across the globe.. Altogether, there were 15 international delegates including 2 international juries Mr. Jason Ryle, Eecutive director of imagineNATIVE Films +Media Art Festival, Canada and Ms. Suvi West, Festival Director of Indigenous Peoples Film Festival-Skabmagovat 2011, Finland along with their friends and family members. 

The films have been archived at the IFA. Indigenous Film Archive is currently collecting information and documentation on different perspectives of the indigenous peoples of the world. It is hoped that the collection of films by and on women will contribute significantly to information about the status of and issues related to indigenous women around the world.

Before the festival, International Conference with a theme “Evolving Indigenous Woman” was organized on 21 April 2011 at Radisson Hotel, Lazimpat. The Conference was organized to highlight the role and status of indigenous women around the world, to share visions and strategies for the future and formulate the Kathmandu Declaration of Indigenous Women to ensure inclusion of indigenous women's rights in the new Constitution by the national presenters. 

82 (50F/22M) participants including personalities from various NGOs, media and indigenous and film organizations participated in the conference. The conference was successful to bring together women from around the world. 13 International filmmakers from the U.S, New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Taiwan and Poland who were invited to the 5th Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival (NIIFF) 2011 also attended the conference. 

Alanis Obomsawin, from Canada was invited as keynote speaker from Canada. She is the first woman filmmaker of Canadian native, directed more than 40 films and also one of the board members of National Film Board of Canada. She shared her observations on the current status of the indigenous woman in comparison to the time when she produced the film in 1975. 

Other international speakers during the conference were Ms. Suvi West, Festival director of Skabmagovat Night 2011, Finland, Dr. Jennifer Machoirlatti and Ms. Denise Zmekhol both from the U.S. Likewise, the national speakers were CA member – Ms. Lucky Sherpa, Advisor of NIWF – Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan and Ms. Amanda Manandhar Gurung presented their papers on different themes relevant to Evolving Indigenous Woman. 

 Ultimately, the conference was successful to bringing out the Kathmandu Declaration of Indigenous Woman

Other Events included during the festival were:


Workshops at Nepal Tourism Board

In order to provide opportunities for the Nepalese filmmakers to meet, interact and learn from the international filmmakers, four workshops were organized during NIIFF 2011 at NTB in the morning from 9am – 11:30am. The details of the workshop are as follow:

- 23rd April 2011: Going the imagineNATIVE ways by Jason Ryle

Time: (9am – 11.30am)

The first day workshop was organized in collaboration with Directors Guild of Nepal. During the workshop, Mr. Jason Ryle, executive director of imgineNATIVE Films + Media  Arts Festival based in Toronto, Canada, shared the history and activities of imagineNATIVE Films + media Arts Festival which is organized for four days annually in Toronto to present film, video, radio and new media works by indigenous filmmakers and artists around the world. He also emphasized how one can submit their work for the festival and what the criteria were.

Name list of key international festivals and the way to approach these festivals were also shared by Mr. Ryle during the interacting session. A total of 72 participants attended the workshop.


- 24th April 2011: The challenges of filmmakers from the Inuit Point of View by Marie Helene Cousineau. 

Time: (9am – 11.30am)

Canadian Filmmaker and co- director of Canadian film Before Tomorrow– Marie Helene Cousineau shared her experiences and research during the makings of a film Before Tomorrow, a film which is based on Inuit community of Canada. 

The workshop was conducted in association with Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Films (FINFI) on which 66 participants had participated including indigenous and non – indigenous filmmakers, artist and film students.


- 24th April 2011: Walk the Alanis Works by Alanis Obomsawin, the first Canadian Native Woman Filmmaker. Time: (3pm – 4:30am)

 Alanis Obomsawin, the first Canadian Native Woman Filmmaker of Abenaki descent is also one of the board members of National Film Board of Canada. She is 78 years old and has directed more than 40 films related to indigenous people.

She shared her experiences as a native Canadian woman filmmaker and aspects of her film works. 115 participants were present during the workshop. 

- 25th April 2011: Sharing Experiences and Challenges as Sami Woman Filmmaker by Suvi West. Time: 9am – 11:30pm

The workshop was organized in collaboration with Indigenous Film Worker’s Association.  

68 people participated in the workshop. Ms. Suvi West, a Sami Filmmaker and festival director of Indigenous Peoples Film Festival Skabmagovat 2011, shared her experiences and journey as a filmmaker and the privileges for Sami filmmakers in Finland to make films. 


Wearable Art Workshop and Exhibition

Wearable art workshop and exhibition was one of the main attractions during NIIFF 2011. The event was organized by LASANAA ans Sirjana College of fashion Art. More than 20 participants participated in the workshop to weave and complete the wearable attire which was exhibited during the closing ceremony. 

Handicraft Selling and  Exhibition

The women from Tamang, Khaling and Sunuwar communities exhibited the handicrafts and dresses representing their communities. The audience who came for the film screening purchased the items from the exhibition stall.

These exhibitions were supported by Tamang, Khaling and Sunuwar Women Associations. 

Food Stalls 

Seven food stalls serving traditional indigenous food items were held by indigenous women belonging to Tamang, Lohrung, Majhi, Sunuwar, Newar, Gurung and Magar communities. The indigenous food stalls enhanced the essence of the festival and exhibited the food items prepared by indigenous woman these communities.



For the first time, a separate event was held at Gokarna Resort on 25 April 2011 to award and felicitate the film makers and winners of Golden, Silver, Bronze Drum, Jury award, Public Choice award and Encouragement award for Nepali filmmakers. Unlike other years, Jury Award and Encouragement award of cash prize Rs. 25,000/- were given during this NIIFF only. 

"Before Tomorrow", "Me - My Gipsy Family and Woody Allen", "Children of Amazon", "Rehje" , Nepali films "Modyalni" and "Spinners of the Flight" won the Golden Drum, Silver Drum, Bronze Drum, Jury Award, Public Choice Award and Encouragement Award. View More

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