KATHMANDU, Aug, 12: "By my troth, I believe", a short film by 23-year-old Sahara Sharma has been short-listed by Faith Shorts, an annual global short film competition launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that provides young people an opportunity to express their faith through film.
The competition gives young voices a global platform on which to showcase their films. This year, Faith Shorts asked entrants to make a three-minute film which explored the theme: How My Faith Inspires Me.
Sharma´s three-minute film has been shortlisted in the top five in the 18-27 age category of this year´s competition.
She came across an ad by Faith Shorts while browsing Facebook late at night just a week before the deadline, and the theme - "How my faith inspires me" - had her captivated.
"I always wanted to make a film that would showcase Nepali youth, and the fact that we haven´t lost our faith in our country yet, despite all the chaos at the moment," says an excited Sharma, who has just finished shooting her second short film and is currently editing it.
The film follows four young Nepali souls who are not dismayed by the current situation of their nation and are doing their bit to make a difference, however small it might be.
The message Sharma has tried to express through her film, in her own words, is, "We are not a hopeless country though that might seem to be the case for many of you, given the current political situation. The youth here still love their country and believe that better days are just around the corner."
"By gaining insights into the lives of young people across the world, this competition has the potential to build bridges across cultural and religious divides. I hope this competition will provide a platform for creative and talented young people and an opportunity for young filmmakers to see their work promoted on the global stage," says Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain, who set up the foundation in 2008 to promote respect and understanding between the major religions and to make the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world.
The film will now be submitted to the global judging panel, including Blair, Hollywood stars Hugh Jackman and Jet Li, Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Dr Mustafa Ceric, Lord Puttnam and the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks among others. The winning film in each of the age categories will be announced in autumn 2012, after the judges have reviewed the shortlist. There will also be an overall winner.
"I´m delighted to support Faith Shorts 2012, the annual global short film competition for young people. This year, as events around the world have shown, the ability to give young people a voice and a platform with which to tell their story, is incredibly important," says Hugh Jackman, Hollywood actor and Faith Shorts Judge.
"I am really looking forward to judging the entries - what impressed me last year was the quality of the insights, the skill of the storytelling and the ability and openness of the young people to share their perspectives with us. I hope Faith Shorts 2012 will continue to break down barriers and give young people a chance to be heard."
The shortlisted films can be viewed on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website [tonyblairfaithfoundation.org ] and other multimedia platforms like YouTube.
Filmmaker Sharma is a reporter at Republica.