The Children in the Shadows Film Festival opened on January 14th in Kathmandu in dramatic style, with the premiere outdoor film screening in Nepal of Zana Briski's powerful documentary Born Into Brothels. A вЂstanding room only' audience packed the outdoor courtyard of Patan Museum, adjoining the town's historic town square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Included in the audience were high school and university students, business people, artists, and advocates for children and women.
This has been an extraordinary evening, watching such a beautiful film about the children of the Sonagachi community in Kolkata , stated Reinhard Fichtl, the Terre des hommes Delegate for Nepal after the outdoor cinema screening. We chose Zana Briski's documentary for our opening night because it portrays children growing up in one of the most challenging urban environments anywhere on Earth. вЂBorn into Brothels' is a film about hope and courage in the face of adversity. And it proves that one person can make a difference in the lives of destitute children.
Ms Briski, an American photographer and film maker, taught the young children of Sonagachi sex workers how to use simple cameras, and they in turn recorded their own impressions of the Kolkata that they call home. Ms Briski encountered and overcame India's legendary bureaucracy in obtaining ration cards for the children, finding schools willing to accept kids from the red-light community, and obtaining a passport for her protГ©gГ© so the boy could attend the World Press Photo annual exhibition in Amsterdam.
The children were really good photographers , said Tashi Sherpa, a 15 year-old student at Shree Mangal Dvip School who is from the town of Tatopani near the Tibetan border. Now I want to learn how to use a camera so I can take photographs of children at my school, the monks at the monastery in Boudah, and the people in my village.
The Children in the Shadows Film Festival continued through January 20th with screenings of films in Kathmandu and Bandipur.
Source: Official Press Release of the Children in the Shadows Film Festival. Read press releases here: http://www.childrenintheshadows.com/press.htm