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About The Film


 Akil – Awareness – One Man’s Quest for His Rights

Akil tells the story of Baburam Chaudhary, who was born as a bonded labourer (Kamaiya) in the remote Kailali district of Western Nepal. In 2000, Baburam was freed after the government’s decision to abolish the Kamaiya system of debt-bondage. Baburam became a local leader of a political movement of Kamaiyas, which emerged in the midst of Nepal’s Maoist insurgency.

The film traces Baburam’s life and his story of urban revolt against the state in his hometown Tikapur. Baburam together with other freed Kamaiyas captured the local airport to claim urban land from the state. After a long struggle with the government, the Kamaiya obtained new land and established their new settlement. Yet, they continue to face hardship and Baburam urges for the revival of the movement by trying to raise ‘Akil’ (awareness) for their political fight through street theatre.

The film depicts the struggle and hardship that ex-bonded labourers experience in a country whose political landscape has been marked by revolution and rapid political change.

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Spanish Translation

Akil – Conciencia – La Mision de Un Hombre por Sus Derechos

Hasta el año 2000 en una región del occidente de Nepal, Baburam Chaudhary vivía en un estado de servidumbre por deudas (Kamaya). Cuando este sistema de trabajo forzoso fue declarado ilegal por el gobierno nepalés, Baburam se convirtió en un líder del movimiento político de los Kamayas libres.

En medio de la revolución Maoista, Akil (conciencia) cuenta la historia de vida de Baburam quien junto con otros Kamayas empezaron una rebelión no violenta en su ciudad natal, Tikapur. Los Kamayas todavía tienen que luchar para ser reconocidos. Por esto Baburam busca desarrollar las conciencias de su gente a través de un teatro político.

La película describe la lucha y las dificultades que estos esclavos liberados viven en un país destrozado por la revolución y en un panorama social en rápido cambio.

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Akil Trailer

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Spanish Subtitles

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Production Team


Tommaso DolcettaTommaso Dolcetta – Director

Tommaso is a researcher and a freelance photographer and filmmaker. He graduated in Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, and later in Anthropology in London with an Ma in Anthropology and Development at the London School of Economics and an MRes in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths College.

Tommaso has a keen interest in performance art and politics. He collaborated with “The Blast Theory” in Brighton to realize his own social interactive games. He has spent many years traveling in South East Asia, South America, Middle East and Africa giving his visual contribution to various ethnographers, NGOs and other international organizations. He has exploited visual media and performance tools to explore and describe cultural and social issues. Since 2010, he has collaborated with Dr. Michael Hoffman to portray different ethnic and political groups in the Far Western Region of Nepal.

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Michael P. HoffmannMichael P. Hoffmann – Co-Director

Michael P. Hoffmann was born in 1978 and grew up in Bergen, a mountain village in Bavaria, Germany. He has a mixed disciplinary background in computer sciences, anthropology and development studies. He graduated with a BSc in Computer Sciences from the Technical University of Munich, followed by an MSc in Anthropology and Development Studies and a PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

He has carried out anthropological research in western Nepal for more than 30 months from 2008 to 2014. Akil is his first major co-directed anthropological documentary film based on his research in western Nepal. He has also published his research findings in various prestigious international journals including Critique of Anthropology, Focal and the Journal of South Asian Development. Website: Max Planck Institute Profile

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Jason BrooksJason Brooks – Editor

Jason is a dedicated and versatile editor with several feature documentary credits, as well as a keen director of photography. Coming from an undergraduate training in Photography and Anthropology at Princeton University, NJ, he received an MA in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College in 2007, and has been working as a London-based freelancer since then.

He is driven by a thirst to understand the infinitely varied cultural geography of our world, and has become a specialist in shooting and editing documentary material in other languages than his own. He is constantly maturing his skills through involvement in a number of independent and collaborative films. Website: Opticalism.com

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Stills Gallery

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Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival

Akil screening on 19th November 2015 at 15:55 at the Colorado Convention Center (Room 107) in Denver Colorado. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Michael.

Festival website: societyforvisualanthropology.org/mediafestival/akil-awareness/

The 31st Bogota International Film Festival

Akil screening on 27th October 2014 at 14:00 at the Biblioteca Nacional de Bogotà as part of the Bogota International Film Festival event “Conflicto: Otras Miradas”.

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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]International Humanitarian Silver Award Winner 2015 at The World Humanitarian Awards.

Website: worldhumanitarianawards.org/wha_winners.htm

World Award of Merit Winner 2015 at The World Film Awards.

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