Himalaya Film Festival
n 2003, the first Himalaya Film Festival (HFF) was started in Amsterdam by Himalaya Archief Nederland(HAN), a Dutch NGO. Mr. Mitrasing, the head of HAN, half Dutch and half Nepalese had a passion to introduce the wonderful Himalayan world to his country through excellent films. The film festival in 2003 and 2004 screened the over 50 carefully selected films from around the world and attracted more than 30.000 people during the 3-day festival. In addition, international producers, directors and experts are invited to the festival and
various related programs such as lectures, and concerts are held.
In 2006, HFF was held in Tokyo (‘Himalaya Film Festival Tokyo 2006’) by the
Himalaya Archive Japan (HAJ). HAJ brushed up and clarified the concept of
the film festival as follows:
1. Presenting the real faces of the Himalayas through excellent films
2. Reflecting on man’s relationship with Mother Nature through the
The Tokyo festival gave the Japanese a rare opportunity to take a closer
look at the Himalayan world and to think about global environmental
problems and human diversity. It was quite successful and attracted many
visitors. HFFT 2006 also had a symposium about global warming with
Junichi Nishizawa (Chancellor of the Tokyo Metropolitan University (at that
time)), Yuriko Koike (Minister of the Environment (at that time)), staff members of the World Wildlife Fund, and others. This symposium was
broadcast on NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting corporation.
Moreover, an invited Nepalese film director was introduced during a NHK
In 2007, the Himalaya Film Festival was held in Amsterdam for the fourth time.
The main theme of the 2007 Festival was ‘Mapping the Tibetan World’. Since
the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s, Tibetan culture has had difficulty in
surviving. Especially at that time the Qinghai–Tibet Railway from the mainland
of China to Tibet (Lhasa) had started and the cultural crisis was increasing. So,
it was a really timely theme. Ms. Helena Norberg-Hodge, a well-known environ-
mentalist, who was familiar with Tibetan culture, was invited as a guest.
In February 2008, a famous local film festival in Japan featured Himalaya-
related films in collaboration with the Himalaya Archive Japan. In November,
‘Himalaya Film Festival Tokyo 2008` took place with a workshop by Arjia
Rinpoche, one of the most prominent Buddhist teachers and lamas to have left
Tibet. He talked about the role of Buddhism in the “global warming era. “
In 2009 the festival was held in the new places in Japan - Kyoto and Kobe
(Himalaya Film Festival West Japan 2009). It got much media attention and
many audiences. Mr. Takashi Miyahara, the owner of Hotel Everest View was
invited and he told about his passion for Nepal and the Himalayas.
In 2010, the Himalaya Film Festival was held in both New York and Tokyo
(Himalaya Film Festival Tokyo 2010). `HFFT2010 Tokyo` screened more than 40
films and got much media attention including TV Asahi (a major TV station),
Vogue (an international fashion magazine), YAMA-to-Keikoku (the most popular
mountaineering magazine) and so on. It also held a symposium with filmmakers
of Bhutanese, Nepalese, Indian and Japanese experts. It was supported by
a well-known Japan Foundation and discussed “the meaning of the Himalayan
culture in the contemporary world.
From 2011, several films with Japanese subtitles screened in each the
Himalaya Film Festival was shown in other film festivals, workshops and a TV
station such as 'EARTH VISION' Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival,
Fukuoka Asia Film Festival, TV Kanagawa and so on. A Bhutanese film got
awarded a grand prize for the above Tokyo film festival.
*The promotional video for
Himalaya Film Festival Tokyo 2010
Summit-Eyes Film Festival
Now we Himalaya Archive Japan have suspended the film festival in Japan mainly because of
the following reasons:
1) Translation of films:
Usually foreign filmmakers produce the international version of their films, namely English-
subtitled ones as well. The majority of Japanese people can’t understand English, so we have
to add Japanese subtitles to every film. That is too costly for us as a nonprofit organization.
Unfortunately, there are scarcely any companies or organizations for noncommercial film
festival though films are high-quality ones some of which report social taboo topics. As a
result, we had to rely on the personal money and the admission to hold each film festival. In addition, there was always adverse balance.
Because of the main reasons above, we’ve decided to postpone the film festival project to consider the future vision. Here are some our decisions so far: We will more define the theme, concept of the film festival “Think of our mother earth, Think from the Himalaya” along with the Himalaya Awareness Channel in preparation for launch in a few months. Accordingly, we will change the name of the film festival into “Summit-Eyes Film festival.” We infuse the new name with the meaning of “Watching (=“Eyes”) “ from the Himalaya (=“Summit”)”.
Again, we truly appreciate everyone who have been supporting this project.
* Some Voices of audiences for the film festival:
- I was quit moved by fantastic films.
- Such a wonderful film festival! I’m fully supportive of it.
- I’ve seen movies about Tibet but have never had such a comprehensive opportunity to see various kinds of movies
about the Himalaya area.
- Please send messages of various human lives in the world through the potential of movies to many people!
- I was very impressed to see valuable films I could hardly see. I will definitely participate in the film festival again.
Please continue to convey precious information the mainstream media hardly report.
* The DVD of films screened in the film festival is available here.
Himalaya Awareness Archives