Private Project

Himalayan Refugee

This is a Documentary Short Film {27 mins} on asylum seeking Pakistani Ahmadis currently in Nepal. Ahmadis are a sect of Islam that are deemed Non Muslim by Pakistani Constitution and severe punishment is dolled out to any Ahmadi found posing as a muslim. Pakistani Ahmadis have migrated across the globe {206 countries} some of them are asylum seekers in Nepal. Nepal doesn't regard them as Refugees, despite them being accepted by UNHCR in Nepal. This has left the 350 odd asylum seekers in a limbo, some waiting for a decade to get govt clearance to be resettled according to UNHCR procedures. This is about their plight and their aspirations of a peaceful and dignified resettlement

  • Nikhil Singh Rajputt
  • Pitobash Tripathy
    Actor - Million Dollar Arm
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Refugee, Asylum, Nepal, Islam, Pakistan
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 10, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Urdu
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Mexico International Film Festival
    May 16, 2017
    World Premiere
    Bronze Palm
  • DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
    St George, UTAH
    United States
    September 4, 2017
    North American Premiere
  • Chicago South Asian Film Festival
    United States
    September 29, 2017
  • Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
    United States
    October 14, 2017
  • International Documentary & Shorts Film Festival of Kerala
    June 17, 2017
    Indian Premiere
  • Film Southasia
    November 3, 2017
    Nepal Premiere
  • Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival
    December 16, 2017
Director Biography - Nikhil Singh Rajputt

Nikhil Singh Rajputt graduated from Indian Institute Of Technology [IIT] Delhi as a B.Tech in Textile Technology {2007}. He later attended a Summer Program at University Of Southern California [USC] Film School {2009}. He have been an Assistant Director in the Mumbai Film Industry ever since. This is his first film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As a documentary filmmaker immigrants/asylum seekers are the biggest subject in our political discourse. Religious persecution and sectarian violence have always contributed to exodus. There is a serious theological difference of opinion, especially in the interpretation of the Holy Quran and Hadith in light of muslim sects other than Shias and Sunnis. Ahmaddiya is a 19th century muslim sect originated in Punjab and has now migrated to 196 countries.
Pakistan as a state is inflicted with sectarian violence there is a history of sectarian violence, especially against the Ahmadis! But an asylum seeking Ahmadi seeking asylum in the poorest of country is fraught with hardships.

In the current climate of scepticism it was important to present individual stories of refugees currently granted asylum by UNHCR Nepal along with relevant papers, newspaper cuttings and photographs.

The political instability of Nepal and the economic burden of asylum seekers in poor Nepal finds a global resonance. Skepticism over asylum seekers in light of Nepal’s history as a land used to target India by Islamic terrorists forms a backdrop for institutional apathy towards Pakistani Ahmadis.

Huge fine [often in millions] for overstaying on Visa in Nepal is discussed and we try to figure out a way to bypass this unique injustice in a legally accepted manner. Unless this fine is waved refugees can not be resettled in a foreign country by UNHCR.

Whatever the political/theological background of refugees it is hard to not empathise with the current situation of this group. As a filmmaker it is especially important to present unpopular opinion in a balanced but compassionate way.