First Ever

Film Southasia

Film southasia 2024

Kathmandu | 4 days

The organisers of the first-ever festival of Subcontinental documentaries were delighted about both the quality of works submitted, as well as their representativeness of the Southasian region as a whole. The number of filmmakers who attended the festival also encouraged us to contemplate this as a regular biennial festival, one which will help in improving the audience and market for documentaries in the region.

The primary criteria for selection of films for the festival was the subject: the films could be made by anyone (including non- Southasians), but must be about Southasia or Southasians. Beyond this, the selection panel went first by overall excellence in filmmaking. It then also considered the representativeness of the films, in terms of region as well as subject area.


Altogether 135 films were submitted to Film Southasia ’97. Fifty-five were selected for final exhibition. The 51 films in the competitive section were made after January 1995; four were in the non-competitive section.

A rough categorization of the films shown reveals the following: 20 were social commentary; one was historical; nine were about personalities; nine on environmental subjects; 10 were ethnographic portrayals; and five fell in other categories. Dividing up the films by country, 36 films were from India, six from Pakistan, four from Bangladesh, four from Nepal, and two from Sri Lanka. The division did not take into consideration films that are cross border in coverage. However, looking at the geographical rather than country-wise distribution of the films being shown, we saw that the 55 films do cover all of Southasia, representing both the geographical regions as well as the urban and rural centres. It is for this reason that the organisers of FSA were able to confidently say that the first festival of Southasian documentaries was ‘representative’ of the Subcontinent.





Selections - FSA'97