FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18th May 2015
Contact: Lakshya Dhungana
Fundraiser for Earthquake Relief - REBUILDING NEPAL Successfully Held
On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Toronto Nepali Film Festival (TNFF) held a fundraiser for Earthquake Relief - REBUILDING NEPAL at the Innis Town Hall, Toronto, ON. The event consisted of screening of a Nepali documentary Sunakali and a conversation with writer Manjushree Thapa and Professor Katharine Rankin. Over a hundred individuals, many of them from Toronto's film and the creative community, attended the event. The event was organized to raise funds for relief work in Nepal and to create a dialogue about rebuilding Nepal.
Sunakali directed by Bhoraj Bhat is the winner of TNFF 2015 Audience Choice Award. The documentary is about a rural women's soccer team and its journey to the national championship. It provided a good overview of the difficult landscape of Nepal and its socioeconomics, which gave a glimpse into the complexity of providing relief and post-relief work in the remote areas of Nepal.
The screening was followed by a conversation with writer Manjushree Thapa and Prof. Katherine Rankin. Rankin highlighted the unique capacity of local networks and organizations to deliver relief and to help rebuild. She also spoke about the importance of the various relief efforts taking place in Toronto and internationally, outside the purview of more formal apparatus. Thapa spoke about poor-governance and poverty as pre-exiting vulnerability that existed in Nepal and highlighted the importance of working with the state and citizens on a rebuilding process that is truly democratic, participatory and accountable.
Both the film screening and the conversation on rebuilding Nepal were well received by the audience. Audience members were also directed towards the print sale of a special edition of five images by TNFF’s co-founder and a photographer Surendra Lawoti, which were also put on sale to support the fundraiser. The print sale will continue online until the end of the fundraiser on May 23, 2015. Manjushree Thapa had also graciously donated her books to the fundraiser that were sold during the event. By the end of the event TNFF raised a total of $6046.50 in donations.
During the event TNFF was also able to raise awareness of the local grassroots organization, Association of Youth Network (AYON) that has been effectively mobilizing over 300 volunteers in the hardest hit districts of Nepal. Within 24 hours of the first earthquake, AYON in coordination with various youth groups, initiated #act4quake Youth Group to respond to the earthquake disaster. All proceed from the TNFF fundraiser will go to AYON.
TNFF will continue to accept contributions until May 23, 2015. TNFF is thankful to all individual donors and community partners, who have provided community and institutional support necessary for making this event a success. Undoubtedly, with continued support by our friends, TNFF will persistently explore all avenues to support Nepal earthquake relief efforts.