Film Southasia (FSA) is a biennial festival that was set up in 1997 with the goal of popularising the documentary so that it entertains, informs and changes lives. In addition to the festival that takes place in Kathmandu every two years, FSA organizes screenings, discussions and workshops across Southasia to promote Southasian non-fiction within the Subcontinent and around the world. Film Southasia believes that film is a powerful medium that helps to not only in better represent the region internationally, but also contributes immensely in introspection and initiatives to bring change at the local level.
Thirteen editions of the festival have been held to date. At each festival, films are judged by a three-member Southasian jury and the best film is awarded the ‘Ram Bahadur Trophy’ for Best Film along with a citation and a cash prize of USD 2,000. The second best film is awarded a citation and cash prize of USD 1,000. The Best Debut Film is awarded the Tareque Masud Award and cash prize of USD 1,000. There is also an award for Best Film on Social/Children’s issues, with a cash prize of USD 1,000. A Best Student Film Award (instituted in 2015) with a citation and cash prize of USD 500 will also be given for entries sent in through film schools. Past juries have been headed by well-known Southasian auteur filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Goutam Ghose, Tareque Masud, Saeed Mirza and eminent journalist Mark Tully. Guests of honour at past festivals have included legendary poet and filmmaker Gulzar (FSA ’99), noted Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt (FSA ’03) and the eminent actor and social activist Shabana Azmi (FSA ’09).
Read more about Ram Bahadhur Tamang and the Tamang community of Nepal here.
Film Southasia is run by the nonprofit The Southasia Trust. Along with Film Southasia the Trust also runs the Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange (Hri), and organises seminars and lecture series relating to pertinent issues in the Subcontinent.