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Facing the Mountains - documentary film screening

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Facing the Mountains (20:36) (Director/Camera/Editor: Ross Harrison; Director/Producer: Vaibhav Kaul; Score: Juliet Aaltonen)

Coping with extremes is part of life for people across the Himalayas. But in June 2013, at Kedarnath, a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in northern India, conditions fatefully aligned to produce an unprecedented disaster. Thousands of pilgrims and locals were faced with a once-in-a-generation catastrophe and thousands of lives were lost. Through the words of survivors, local elders and new visitors, we are shown a portrait of a place where the events of 2013 have become part of a larger story; one of resilience, of faith, and of eternal change. More details at

Ross Harrison is a graduate of the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. He is a filmmaker whose passion for documentaries began with filming wildlife in his grandfather’s woodland when he was 14. Since then, filmmaking has led him to explore diverse subjects ranging from rainforest conservation to education inequality and tribal land rights. The process continues to excite him with its possibilities for storytelling and as a catalyst for social change.

Vaibhav Kaul is an emotionally driven, socially committed mountain geographer from India. His academic interests range from glaciology to ethnology. He wants to use visual and audiovisual media to communicate his research to non-academic audiences, especially those whose work can have a direct positive impact on the ground. Vaibhav is doing a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The idea for this film was developed as part of Vaibhav’s research into disaster risk and community resilience in changing high-mountain environments, which is supported by the University of Sheffield and the Dudley Stamp Memorial Award (administered by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG ).

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