WaterAid Debuts ‘Aftershock’ – VR Film Starring Inhabitants Of Nepalese Village Devastated By Earthquake

September 29 16:41 2016 Print This Article

(Huffington Post) – There’s a red carpet, a big screen and an expectant crowd, to be sure, but that’s where the similarity between this and every other world film premiere ends. For we’re sitting on a remote Nepalese hillside, a colourful sheet sheltering us from the sun, and the villagers have assembled to watch themselves appear in ‘Aftershock’, documenting the devastation wrought by last year’s double earthquake, and this community’s inspiring response to its bottomless challenges.

Oh, and one more thing. The team at WaterAid who made the film decided to shoot it in 360, which means elders, mothers and children – some of whom have never set foot off this mountain two hours out of Kathmandu – are also taking it in turns to don headsets and lose themselves in the latest in virtual reality technology. I have to say, the sight of them engaging in this hi-tech wizardry against the timeless rural background makes for a pretty surreal spectacle.

Star of the show is Krishna Sunuwar, a very youthful 58-year-old native plumber whose local connections in this village of Kharelthok, understanding of the problems and palpable charisma made him a natural leading man for WaterAid’s film crew, and it is his story that forms the backbone of the nine-minute feature.

Director and producer Catherine Feltham explains: “When we got here, we set up camp here, and Krishna was one of those who joined us, asking loads of questions. As we walked around the village, it was clear everyone knew him, he was half-working, half-socialising, and I thought, ‘You’re a bit of a connector,’ so he stayed in my head. I kept coming back to him as the right person to tell this story about the problems of lack of water.”

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