On Sunday, April 24, Film Southasia 2022, the 13th iteration of the biennial festival of Southasian documentaries, concluded with award winners announced by Jury members Tsering Rhitar Sherpa, Ayisha Abraham and Sumathy Sivamohan at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka.
The Ram Bahadur Trophy
DIR. BANI SINGH
A daughter’s tribute to her champion father, a member of the first Indian hockey team to win the Olympic gold
This poignant film pans out from an individual’s life, making powerful connections to a larger historical narrative, a process in which a history of loss, home, fraught relationships and identity at large continue to cast a dark shadow on the present realities of the subcontinent.from the Jury Statement
The Jury Award
The Big Headed Boy, Shamans and Samurais
DIR. BIBHUSAN BASNET, POOJA GURUNG
A film crew travels across remote villages in Western Nepal looking for the perfect kid who can play the ‘Hero’ in their upcoming film.
…a film that experiments poetically, intertextually and viscerally, with form in a story of pertinent realities in the way people and landscape, tradition and modernity can be seen and understood.from the Jury Statement
Tareque Masud Award for Best Debut Film
Into the Sea
DIR. ASHISH KUMAR NAYAKIN
The fishing community of Odisha struggle against strenuous labour, the never-ending work hours and the harsh weather.
DIR. BISHAL ROKA MAGAR
As the British Gurkha regiments starts recruiting girls, Dilmaya devotes all her time in preparation for a a life changing opportunity
…shared by two films that closely observe an individual and a community confronted with challenges of our contemporary reality, be it livelihood or ecological, social or political circumstance. Each with its distinctive voice chronicles an everyday reality of survival, resilience and hope.from the Jury Statement
Best Film on Children’s Issues
Mahalle’s School – Family Going Live
DIR. AKSHAY PRADIP INGLE
The Mahalle family comes together to solve problems that arise during the children’s online school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
…a film that experiments poetically, intertextually and viscerally, with form in a story of pertinent realities in the way people and la film which, with humour and lightness, provides a window into how children and families adapted to the sudden descent of a pandemic on an already difficult reality of juggling the combined challenge of work and home of an ordinary family.andscape, tradition and modernity can be seen and understood.from the Jury Statement
Best Student Film
DIR. BANI SINGH
The Gandharvas of Bhojpur, fated by his caste to become a travelling musician, believe their role in the society has changed with the dawn of new media.
…a journey into the lives of musician of a dying folk form that has been critical to a culture but has also been a vehicle for the dissemination of news in an era before the digital age.from the Jury Statement
Possibly the only thing harder than making a documentary is to select the few best ones when all of the 62 films in the competitive section screened here over the past few days were of such high calibre.
The documentary genre evolved as a way to use the powerful tool of audiovisual medium to explore, explain and expose facets of modern society that are largely missed out by fictional cinema, or mainstream journalism.