Film 5: Good Old Wood (2019, forthcoming)

An ethnographic portrait of Grandpa Gangaram, the last master wood carver of the Kumaon Himalaya

Directed by John Seddon and Vaibhav Kaul | Produced and researched by Vaibhav Kaul

Genre: Ethnographic documentary
Language: Hindi and Kumaoni with English subtitles

Read more…


Mountain, Priest, Son Film Still 4

Film 4: Mountain, Priest, Son (2018)

A short Himalayan documentary on the metaphysics and morality of risk in the face of socio-environmental change

Set in one of India’s most sacredly and geologically fragile mountain landscapes, the film brings alive the everyday experiences, beliefs and hopes of a priest, his wife, and their 22-year-old son who survived a great flood not long ago. Through their story, we explore a traditional society’s understanding of its own vulnerability and resilience in the face of dramatic environmental change on the one hand and the rapid intrusion of modernity, urbanism and consumerism on the other.

Directed by John Seddon and Vaibhav Kaul | Produced and researched by Vaibhav Kaul
Supported by Festival of the Mind 2018

Genre: Ethnographic documentary
Language: Hindi and Garhwali with English subtitles

24 September 2018 (world première): Festival of the Mind, Sheffield, UK
24 October 2018 (special screening and academic discussion): Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
28 November 2018 (screening with Q&A): Sheffield Institute for International Development, The Diamond, Sheffield, UK
28 November 2018 (Continental European première): Echo BRICS Film Festival, Salut Cinema, Moscow, Russia
7-9 December 2018 (Asian première): Ooty Film Festival, The Assembly Rooms Theatre, Ooty, Nilgiri Mountains, India
18-31 March 2019 (screening): South Asian Short Film Festival, Nandan, Kolkata, India
17-20 April 2019 (screening with Q&A): Ethnografilm, Le Théâtre Lepic, Paris, France
25 April 2019 (showcase as nominee and winner): Learning on Screen Awards, Curzon Soho, London, UK
8 May 2019 (screening): The Hidden Film Festival, The Empire (Cineworld), Leicester Square, London, UK
22 June 2019 (screening): Smaragdni Eco Film Festival, Gradska Galerija, Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1-5 July 2019 (North American première): Quetzalcoatl Indigenous International Film Festival, Oaxaca, Mexico
26-28 July 2019 (screening): Kadoma International Film Festival, Kadoma City Community Centre, Osaka, Japan
5-7 September 2019 (screening): Global Youth Film Festival, Town Hall, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Learning on Screen Award (Student Award: Best Documentary)
Learning on Screen Awards 2019, Curzon Soho, London
Best Documentary
Echo BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Film Festival 2018, Moscow
Best Documentary Short Film
South Film and Arts Academy Festival, December 2018, Rancagua, Chile
Best Cinematography in Documentary Short Film
South Film and Arts Academy Festival, December 2018, Rancagua, Chile
Seven Summits Award
Mountain Film Festival 2019, USA

Read more…

Mountain Priest Son Poster



Film 3: Playing with Snowballs in the Prison of Time (2018)

A dying man meets a sighing mountain. Together, they contemplate existence.

Somewhere in the English Pennines, a young Himalayan poet has been living with a terminal affliction. Before his body gives way, he wants it to carry him into the snowy lap of Mam Tor, the Mother Mountain, where his last poem awaits him. Time is running out…

A visual interpretation of one of George Enescu’s most enigmatic musical compositions, the film uses the snows of Mam Tor to meditate on human temporality.

Directed by John Seddon and Vaibhav Kaul | Produced by Vaibhav Kaul

Violin by Savitri Grier | Piano by Richard Uttley | Poetry by Vaibhav Kaul

Genre: Contemplative poetic ethno-fiction
Language: Hindi with English subtitles (no dialogue)

29-30 December 2018 (world première)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival, National Film Archive of India, Pune, India
8 February 2019
L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival, Kolkata, India
25 February – 2 March 2019 (European première)
Alpin Film Festival, Brașov and the Bucegi Mountains, Romania
1-10 March 2019 (African première)
RapidLion – The South African International Film Festival, The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa
22-24 March 2019
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, UK
5-7 April 2019
Newlyn Film Festival, The Acorn Theatre, Penzance, UK

Awards and recognition
Best Experimental Short Film
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival 2018, 
National Film Archive of India, Pune, India
Critics’ Choice Award (Experimental Film)
L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival, Kolkata, UK
Dolgoji Experimental Shorts Semi-Finalist
Korea National University of Arts, Seoul, South Korea

Read more…




Film 2: An Awakening (2017)

A passionate pursuit of the ‘mountains’. A poetic peek into a sentimental world.

Far away from hearth, home and heritage, a young Himalayan scholar is faced with physical disablement and desolation. As he takes on his ‘mountains’, he finds solace in his spirituality, ethnic identity, and love for the wilderness.

Directed by John Seddon and Vaibhav Kaul| Produced by Vaibhav Kaul

Genre: Contemplative poetic experimental ethnography
Language: Hindi, Urdu and Tibetan with English subtitles (no dialogue)
Length: 14 minutes

17-19 November 2017 (world première): Kendal Mountain Festival, Kendal, UK
19 June 2018 (special screening): Showroom Shorts Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, UK
29 June 2018 (North American première): Canadian Diversity Film Festival, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, Canada
5-8 September 2018 (South American première): La Paz International Film Festival (FICLaPaz), La Paz, Bolivia
16-17 January 2019 (gala): Golden Fox Awards, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Rotary Sadan, Kolkata, India
4 February 2019 (special screening): Indie Flicks Film Festival, Regather, Sheffield, UK

Awards and recognition
Sierra Nevada Award
: Mountain Film Festival, USA, 2018
Golden Fox Award
for the Best Experimental Film: Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, India, 2019
Best Postmodern Film
: Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, India, March 2018
Finalist: Experimental Film
: Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, India, March 2018
Honorable Mention
: Experimental Forum, USA, 2018
Special Mention
: Asia South East-Short Film Festival, Cambodia, May 2018
Official Selection: Experimental Film
: Moscow Shorts, Russia, March 2018

Read more about the film…

Watch the trailer…




Film 1: Facing the Mountain (2016)

A short documentary about faith, resilience and change in the Himalayas

Set in the sacred valley of Kedarnath in India’s lofty Garhwal Himalayas, Facing the Mountain explores what it means to live through disaster in a rapidly changing natural and social environment. The idea for the film was developed by Vaibhav as part of his research into disaster risk and community resilience in changing mountain environments, which is supported by the University of Sheffield and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Directed by Ross Harrison and Vaibhav Kaul | Produced by Vaibhav Kaul

Genre: Geographical/ethnographic documentary
Language: Hindi and Garhwali with English subtitles
Length: 20 minutes

Release date: 16 November 2016
Read about the film and how it was made…
Watch the trailer…

Selected showings

10 November 2016 (preview screening and discussion): School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK
16 November 2016 (world/European première, discussion, and research exhibition): ICoSS, University of Sheffield, UK
17-20 November 2016 (screenings and Q&A): Kendal Mountain Festival, Kendal, UK
20 November 2016 (screening): Explore 2016 (flagship event for expeditions), Royal Geographical Society, London, UK
8-12 December 2016 (Asian première): Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal
10-18 February 2017 (North American première): Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada
16 February 2017 (screening and videoconference): World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland
22 February 2017 (screening and discussion): Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Oxford, UK
24 February 2017 (screening and discussion): Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK
11-15 April 2017 (screening and discussion): Ethnografilm, Ciné XIII Théâtre, Paris, France
27 April 2017 (showcase): Nominee for a Learning on Screen Award, BFI Southbank, London, UK
27 April – 7 May 2017 (screening): Trento Film Festival, Trento, Italy
30 April – 7 May 2017 (screening): New York Indian Film Festival, Village East Cinemas, New York City, USA
22-26 November 2017 (screening): Bansko International Mountain Film Festival, Bansko, Bulgaria
4-8 January 2018 (special screening): Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival, Pune, India
9-11 January 2018 (screening): Frames Film Festival, Mumbai, India
28 November 2018 (screening with Q&A): Sheffield Institute for International Development, The Diamond, Sheffield, UK
21-24 March 2019 (screening): Water Docs Film Festival, Hot Docs Cinema, Toronto, Canada

Official Selection 2017 (Virtual): Wasatch Mountain Film Festival, USA
Official Selection 2017: Pickurflick Indie Film Festival, India
Official Selection 2017: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Echo Film Festival, Russia
Long List 2017: Winchester Short Film Festival, UK

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