The opening gala of the Himalaya Film & Cultural Festival kicked off on the 15th October at Richmix in London. Since I had been asked to do an opening speech for the movie Beauty and Brains which focuses on the journey of a couple of transgender women in Nepal as they set out to compete in a beauty pageant, I was quite worried regarding what I was going to say in context of the movie. Nonetheless, my main point was to encourage others to share what we know. Waiting for their ‘rights’ may take forever but as responsible citizens what we can do is share what we know, I know that these transgender men and women are as equal citizens as us. So spread that simple message. If I can change atleast one person’s view then I think that’s a very good step (the rest is in their hands).
We watched Dasdhunga earlier on in the day and I was quite surprised to see many non-Nepalis watching the movie too. Such a shame that there weren’t many Nepalis present at the event but there were plenty of viewers to make the event a success in my eyes. Surprisingly there more more attendees at the screening of Beauty and Brains. The movie was insightful and entertaining, it was followed by a Q&A session with the director Catherine Donaldson. The gala came to an end with live musical performances by Yak Attack, U n US and Gagan Thapa.
Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul (21 Oct: 10:30AM)
Afghan Girls (21 Oct: 11AM)
The Alphabet Book (24 Oct: 7PM)
The Sari Soldiers (27 Oct: 7PM)
Performances and More:
Newari Dance & Culture (28 Oct: 7PM)
Govinda Prasad ‘Sah’ Azad – Art Open Studio (28-30 Oct)
Law & Conflict in Kashmir – Workshop (31 Oct)