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Camera’s in Kathmandu

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Our filmmaker's latest expedition to Nepal

It’s the final stretch for Trust Sustainability Films (TSF) as the crew recently returned from their last field trip of the year and have now set their minds to putting together 2013’s final exciting product. Director and head of TSF Eastern Cape, Kyle Robinson, and filmmakers Justin Archer and Graham Holmes, recently returned from Kathmandu, Nepal, where the final stage of the START project’s filming took place.

START (SysTems for Analysis, Research and Training) who has made important strides in advancing knowledge generation all over climate-sensitive sectors of the developing world, are the funders behind this film on peri-urban agriculture. A growing trend in food-insecure nations, this practise of agriculture sees more and more urban families utilising whatever space they have available to them in order to practise subsistence farming.

First, TSF took on Kampala, the bustling and innovative capital of Uganda. See what they had to say about the Ugandans love of bananas and disdain of cameras here.

The Kathmandu trip provided a completely different landscape for the filmmakers, who contended with dubious traffic, wonderfully friendly locals and masses of delicious tea.

“Kathmandu is just packed with people, it was incredible to watch them interact,” commented Archer, “The driving direction is optional in traffic circles, if someone’s in your way, you just hoot. Surprisingly, we never saw a single accident.”

The crew spent a week filming everywhere, from the city centre to the outlying farmlands, documenting how the Nepalese are dealing with the global food grind. In contrast to Uganda there was a very clear division between urban areas and peri-urban agricultural regions. An interesting observation was the trend of several families living in rather rickety looking three story houses, scattered among the communal crops. All this situated right next to the towering buildings of Kathmandu.

“A great privilege for us was meeting a Jyaupu family who have farmed in the region of Kathmandu for centuries,” said Robinson, “The encroachment of urbanisation has gradually dwindled their farmlands, slowly diminishing their once productive way of life to a point where they can no longer solely rely on the farm to support their family anymore.”

The Nepalese were incredibly friendly and very camera curious which resulted in interviews being conducted in the midst of huge crowds. “One of my main jobs when I wasn’t filming,” said Robinson, “Was making sure people did not walk into the shot. They’re incredibly inquisitive and exceptionally keen on making an appearance. ”

The contrast between the communities and their different lifestyles in Uganda and Kathmandu will make for a documentary quite unlike any other. Stay tuned as it is due for release at the end of October.

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