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‘Dhye Dreams’ Claims Best Short Documentary Title at NEUFF 2024

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Shanta Nepali’s captivating short documentary, “Dhye Dreams,” part of the 10-episode documentary series ‘Voices from the Roof of the World (VRW)’ Season 3, has achieved a remarkable feat at the recent 13th Nepal European Union Film Festival (NEUFF) 2024. The film emerged victorious, securing the coveted title of Best Short Documentary Film.

NEUFF, an annual celebration of cultural diversity and cinematic exchange between Europe and Nepal, held its 2024 edition under the theme “Fifty Years of EU-Nepal Relations: Celebrating Cultural Diversity,” from March 20th to 23rd in Kathmandu, Nepal. Amidst a diverse selection of European and Nepali films, “Dhye Dreams” captivated audiences with its poignant portrayal of climate struggles.

The documentary illuminates the alarming reality of Upper Mustang, Nepal, where generations of villagers in the Himalayas are compelled to abandon their ancestral homes due to a dramatic decline in water levels. “Dhye Dreams” intricately weaves together the narratives of three resilient women determined to defy fate and carve a path towards survival amidst the challenges of climate change.

As a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the power of storytelling to inspire action, “Dhye Dreams” resonated deeply with audiences at the Nepal European Union Film Festival. Prior to NEUFF, the documentary was selected and screened at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival in Arizona. Its success underscores the urgent need to address climate change and support communities on the frontlines of this global crisis.

VRW is a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Development Network agencies: Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Aga Khan Foundation, and the University of Central Asia, made possible with the support of Ross Beaty, the Sitka Foundation, and the Jenabai Hussainali Shariff Family. The documentary series highlights the profound impacts of climate change in Central and South Asia, focusing on the consequences for vast communities and wildlife amidst the world’s highest mountains and reliant on the great rivers originating from these regions. It emphasises resilience and innovative solutions.

In 2023, the second season of the VRW documentary series won the prestigious John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Reporting on the Environment at Columbia Journalism School, while both its first and second seasons were also selected to participate in the renowned Banff Mountain Film Festival.

VRW documentaries, exemplified by “Dhye Dreams,” not only raise awareness about critical environmental issues but also showcase the remarkable resilience of communities. They explore how local knowledge and innovative solutions are being harnessed to adapt to a changing environment, protect precious water sources, and preserve diverse ecosystems.

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