Who Will Be a Gurkha

Kesang Tseten, Nepal / England / Norway / Finland, 2012, color / black and white, DCP, 75'
Synopsis

The Brigade of Gurkhas has been a special unit within the British army for 200 years. Boys are recruited for the unit in the mountain villages of Nepal. In Who Will Be a Gurkha, director Kesang Tseten observes how these boys fare in this rigorous three-phase selection procedure extending over six months. The aspiring soldiers' physical condition, intelligence and motivation are all put to the test. It means that the selection isn't only a matter of fitness and muscle power, but also of the right mental preparation. The Gurkhas are known for their courage and fighting spirit, and they fight, just like regular British soldiers, in areas of conflict such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They consider it a great honor to be part of the brigade, but perhaps the British salary also helps. Some have prepared themselves well, while others got their training from shady "academies" that unfortunately don't give them the same advantage. Gossip and prejudice lead some boys to think that certain castes are getting priority over others, or that some positions are up for sale. But the selection procedure is "free, fair and transparent," something that the British commanders often repeat. Archive footage is alternated with recent scenes of the boys training and, in their spare time, singing. In this way, the film provides a broad perspective on a 200-year-old military tradition that still provides status to young Nepalese men.

IDFA Awards given out in Durban and Sarajevo August 24, 2014 | Two IDFA Awards were handed out at the Durban International Film Festival's Durban FilmMart and the Sarajevo Film Festivals' Docu Rough Cut Boutique. Both winners will be invated to IDFA as part of the prize.
IDFA Bertha Fund selects 19 new projects July 8, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the May selection round of 2014. Nineteen documentary projects from countries like Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and South-Sudan will be supported by the fund.
Summer School's Out July 6, 2014 | The seventh edition of the IDFAcademy Summer School has closed its doors. For six days, young and upcoming talents from 15 different countries worked tirelessly on their projects, supported by eight renowned tutors, among whom was editor Ollie Huddleston: “If you think too much about what other people think, you can get really lost.”
Digital and interactive storytelling at IDFA 2014 July 4, 2014 | Since 2008, IDFA explores the future of non-fiction storytelling with its DocLab program and the Forum for crossmedia projects. This year, in collaboration with De Brakke Grond, we will present the biggest interactive storytelling program yet. We look forward to consider your interactive, transmedia and virtual reality projects.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 3 days ago
The deadline for IDFA Forum submissions is this Monday! Our team is available for questions Sat & Sunday 10am-2pm CEST on +31206273329.
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 4 days ago
Don't forget: only a few days left to submit your project for the IDFA Forum! http://t.co/p4NuA12pNy
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij SNS Reaal