An international award winning film made by Dr Michael Brown (Liverpool Screen School) is being screened live online this week, with a panel discussion about the filmmaking process and the issues raised in the film.
The film screening is being hosted by the Liverpool Screen School tonight, Thursday 10 December.
Last week the film won Best In Festival, Feature Documentary at the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival, having already won Silver Award for Best Documentary Feature in the North American Film Awards.
The film is called Khacchad:Mule and focuses on the lives of mules in Nepal who work in huge industrial brick factories and porter goods into the high Himalayan mountains.
Michael spent a year travelling with the mules, building relationships with the many communities through which the mules pass over the course of their lives. As well as featuring in numerous international festivals the film has also been broadcast on satellite television across the South Asia region by Annapurna Television.
Our relationship with animals
However, the film has more important goals as Michael explained: "In Nepal mules are vital to the economy, making a huge contribution to people's lives and livelihoods. Loved and cared for by many, they are also abused and exploited by others. So raising awareness and creating discussion about humanity and our relationship with animals is important."
Through Global Challenges Research Funding, Michael's film is now being used in four key ways; (1) within Nepal to promote self-reflection leading to community action plans to promote equine wellbeing, (2) to affect government policy in Nepal to protect working equines, (3) to allow NGO veterinary outreach teams to develop better support programmes, and (4) to promote wider awareness of working-equine issues globally.
The online screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:
- Dr Emma Roberts, Associate Dean (Global Engagement) LJMU
- Dr Simon Brooman, Animal Law and Ethics, LJMU
- Dr Keith Marley, Film Theorist, LJMU
- Luke Edwards, Equine Veterinary, University of Liverpool
- Julia Smith, Equine Community Engagement Practitioner
- Dr Michael Brown, LJMU
The event from 7:30pm-10pm, is free to join but e-tickets must be booked in advance.