KATHMANDU, June 14 (Xinhua) -- A three-day international indigenous film festival, aiming to better the welfare of Nepal's indigenous peoples that comprise about 37 percent of its total population, concluded here on Saturday.
Forty-eight films and documentaries from 19 countries and regions including Nepal have been screened in the eighth edition of the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival (NIIFF), which has been held annually since 2007.
Fifteen films from seven Latin American countries saw the highest screening during the festival, while 12 Nepali films representing 7 ethnic communities also shared the screen. Films from the United States, Japan, Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan, Malaysia, Finland, Japan, Tanzania and China's Taiwan also took part in the festival.
Speaking about the festival's primary focus on Latin American films this year, the director of the festival and a member of the country's Magar community, Sanjog Laapha Magar, said the festival hopes Nepal will learn from Latin American countries like Brazil, Peru, Mexio and Bolivia, whose governments have undertaken many initiatives for the betterment of their native peoples.
This year's event has drawn an audience of around 14,000, most of them students, according to the organizers.
Sachin Ghimire, a student of anthropology, said the films screened during the festival are based on diverse themes from different countries and provide unique angles that commercial films seldom offer.
"In a heterogeneous country like Nepal, national identity lies in the cultural diversity of indigenous people. Such festival helps bring forth the realities of indigenous people," Satya Mohan Joshi, a 96-year old Nepali writer and scholar, famous for his research on the history and culture of Nepal, told Xinhua.
The event was jointly organized by the Indigenous Film Archive and two government bodies, National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) and Film Development Board of Nepal.