Gender representation in media is a critical contributor to social and cultural perceptions.

To support the voice and agency of women/girls, the British Council, in support of Film Development Board’s Storybank Initiative, has provided co-production grants to three emerging storytellers to use films - both fiction and non-fiction narratives - to create short films on gender themes that can be presented to international audiences. 

Partners Taskovski Films, UK and Pame Film and Music Festival, Nepal are supporting the three grantees selected through an open call in early 2021 to develop their pitches and produce their films. Besides financial support, grantees are provided with expert mentoring and capacity building led by Taskovski Films.

Project and grantee details below:

साक्षी (Sākṣī)

Synopsis: In a remote Dalit village in Nepal, a young girl is murdered and hanged to stage a suicide. The only witness is eight-year-old Gaana’s imaginary friend. They take the matter in their own hands, which leads to consequences beyond their control. 

Barkha is a visual storyteller based in Kathmandu. She has directed, shot and edited several documentaries, ad films and music videos. Her first short film was screened at Pinewood Studios in the UK and Raleigh Studios in Hollywood (First-Time Filmmaker Sessions) and Museum of Creative Minds (Shanghai, China). 

Iron Gate

Synopsis: Khima Khadka, who got married at only 16, goes on to become a PhD scholar. The documentary unravels her journey in the culturally saturated community of Rukum and the implications and the bitter truths of child marriage. 

Prashansha, a civil engineering student and a social activist, is passionate about filmmaking and believes it to be an effective tool to break barriers. She initiated a campaign to build support against child marriage by making documentaries and raising awareness on the issue. In 2019, she won the ‘UNICEF Nepal Short Film Competition’. 


Sanai (सनई)

Synopsis: Rupa and Maya are best friends, but their family opposes their friendship. Will they end up convincing them? How will they choose a life away from systematic oppressions?

Akanchha is a theatre artist and leads ‘Katha Ghera’ collective. She has directed several plays and loves listening to people’s stories. This is her first time venturing into filmmaking, and she is very grateful for the opportunity. She is determined to make art about difficult conversations that we often do not have.


Giovanni Robbiano

Director and film trainer Giovanni is known for his work as a story editor and script consultant for several productions and academic institutions throughout Europe. Since 2015, he has been working as the head of Famu International, Prague.

Zara Balfour

Zara is an award-winning director, writer and producer with 19 years’ experience in documentary, film and content.  She leads the team at Snowland Journeys working with schools, donor organisations, commercial partners, Himalayan communities of Nepal.

Pooja Gurung

Pooja is an acclaimed director and former actor/writer/producer. She travelled the international festivals with her first film, Contagious Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite in 2013. Currently, she is working on her feature The Whole Timers which received the CNC Production Aid. 

Irena Taskovski

Irena is the CEO & Founder of Taskovski Films network, a London-based world sales & production company with offices across Europe. She is an expert on marketing, sales, financing, festivals and is working as film consultant for many film institutions. 

About Partners

Taskovski Films

Pame Film Festival

Film Development Board, Nepal