Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

Ilam to host tourism and film festival next month


By Kokila Dhakal
Ilam, Mar. 29: To revitalise the tourism sector knocked down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘Kechana Kanchenjunga Tourism and Film Festival 2078’ is scheduled to be held in Ilam next month.
According to Kechana Kanchenjunga Tourism Development Committee, which is organising the event in association with 21 organisations of Province 1 and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the festival will be held for a week from April 8 to April 15 with a special event on the occasion of the Nepali new year on April 14.
According to Keshav Kumar Deurali, executive director of the committee, the fair will incorporate all the tourist sites from Kechana, one of the lowest points in the country, to Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world.
“Tourism entrepreneurs from all along the Mechi Corridor including Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung districts will participate in the festival,” he said. “We will make arrangements to ensure that the tourists who come to Ilam for the festival will get to visit the places they want.”
Deurali informed that the visitors would be able to tour Kanchenjunga Basecamp, Timbung Pokhari, Tamor River, Panchthar, Sandakpur, Maipokhari, Antudanda, Panitar and Kechana, among other places.
A film festival is also scheduled during the festival.
The tourism and film festival is expected to bring more than 100,000 visitors from all over Nepal as well as India, Bhutan and other countries.
“We are coordinating with stakeholders so that the organisers are able to set a fixed price for food, transportation and market goods for the duration of the festival and protect the tourists from fraud,” Deurali shared.
The festival will be organised at Tundikhel of Ilam and will feature 42 stalls of the 42 local levels of the aforementioned four districts. Additionally, it will have 70 stalls of private businesses. “These stalls will showcase the culture, traditions, cuisines and agricultural produce of the four districts,” Deurali said.
“We will also have film-related interactions and trainings, literary programmes and a fun fair,” he added. “The heads of all 42 local levels will also discuss among themselves about various tourist attractions present in their areas.”
Films and documentaries shot along the Mechi Corridor will also be screened at the festival. Also, a photo exhibition will be held to showcase picturesque locations in the four districts ideal for film shooting.
“We will seek to promote the region as a filmmaking hub through the festival,” said Keval Tamang, Province 1 coordinator of the Nepal Cineworker Association. Tamang, who is also the film and art coordinator of the Kechana Kanchenjunga Tourism and Film Festival, said that filmmakers from Nepal and India would also participate in the festival. Folk singer Devi Prasad Gautam said that locals were also viewing the festival with great enthusiasm. “The tourism, art, literature, music and economic sectors had come to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak. The festival is expected to revive them,” he said.