Karachi/ Kathmandu: “A Walnut Tree” a moving saga from Pakistan of an old man’s longing for home and hearth post displacement by military operations in North Waziristan, was awarded the Ram Bahadur Trophy for the best film at Film SouthAsia 2015, the region’s premier festival for documentaries held biennially in Kathmandu.
Chief Guest Adoor Gopalakrishnan presented the trophy and cash award for the young Director, Ammar Aziz.
The runner up was Khoon Diy Baarav (Blood Leaves its trail) a film from India by Iffat Fatima that deals with enforced disappearances in Kashmir. The UNICEF award for the film most sensitive to the needs of children went to “ Drawing the Tiger” from Nepal by Ramyata Limbu and Amy Benson. The Tareq Masud Award for the best debut film was presented to “On and Off the Records” by Pratik Biswas from India . The best student film, a category introduced only this year, went to “Tyres” from Myanmar directed by Kyaw Myo Lwin.
The Festival, held on schedule despite the devastating April earthquake and the ongoing blockade on the Nepal border that has led to a severe fuel and other shortages in the country, drew large crowds who biked, walked or took public transport to the venue to watch non-fiction films. Nepal, as the cultural hub of South Asia, seems wonderfully alive and ticking despite all odds!