The 11th International Youth Media Summit

From the Summit of the Himalayas: Launching a New Decade

Kathmandu, Nepal     ———     July 27 - August 9, 2016


This was the best two weeks of my life!
— IYMS 2016 Nepali Youth Delegate

2016 was a historic year for the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS). For the first time in its eleven-year history, the annual event was held in Asia, head-quartered in Kathmandu, Nepal. Simultaneous events in Los Angeles and Kabul helped over 80 participants from fifteen countries connect to launch a new decade for IYMS, bringing young people together to build bridges across cultures, creating a world-wide family without borders.

  Sapan Hamal and his team on opening day (r to l):  Hamal, Darshan Parajuli, Pratick Paudel and Manoj Bohara

Sapan Hamal and his team on opening day (r to l): Hamal, Darshan Parajuli, Pratick Paudel and Manoj Bohara

IYMS came to Kathmandu just over a  year after a devastating earthquake killed thousands, destroyed half a million homes and crippled the tourist industry in Nepal. Sapan Hamal, president of Public Access, applied to bring the 2016 IYMS to Kathmandu to show the world that Nepal is again safe for tourists. It was a unique opportunity; IYMS could actually contribute to the well being of a country through our presence. This bold decision was rewarded with one of the most inspiring IYMS events to date. 



Public Access gathered seven experts to meet with the issue groups and discuss the innovations they have put into practice. These discussions, together with delegates’ research projects from their home countries, provided inspiration for their work. For two weeks, the delegates explored the power and impact of media to transform attitudes, behaviours and lives. They created media projects that confronted global problems and explored solutions. 


IYMS 2016 Delegates – Reaching Out 

We who are involved in art and media can be the bridge between suffering and hope, we are able to communicate and make changes in people’s hearts. Youth expression can heal society in ways that nothing else can.
— Sareena Bai, IYMS 2016 Keynote Speaker
  in photo:  IYMS delegate Kimberly Vanegas

in photo: IYMS delegate Kimberly Vanegas

Summit delegates Bea Pourbagher Dehkordi (Sweden) and Saurav K.C. (Nepal) spent a week in Nuwakot, Nepal, filming a promotional short film for All Hands, the NGO that brings volunteers to disaster zones to help rebuild. The film, edited by Marija Ratković Vidaković (Croatia) with help from the filmmakers, Quyen Nguyen-Le (USA), Mashhoor Aboelfouh Fawzy (Egypt) and Antonio Britvar (Croatia) was screened at the Closing Ceremony and will be used by All Hands to promote its work. 

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“This is the worksite Prithivi - we call that All Hands enlightening tree. I am coming home a
different man, but I will come back here again. God bless you beautiful souls - thank you all for everything.
— Saurav K.C., filmmaker


Veteran IYMS members organized the Los Angeles Summit, an LA Hi-Tech Project, with LA Valley College and Cleveland High School. Over 30 student participants and filmmaking mentors participated in the four-day event, producing seven issue PSAs. The Kathmandu and LA groups shared their experiences over Skype, celebrating the first IYMS in Asia.

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Another mini-Summit was held in Kabul with six Afghan children, led by two 15-year old boys from the 2015 IYMS. The Kabul group created three issue PSAs. One, about an Afghan girl’s longing for education, was shown at the Kathmandu Closing Ceremony. Participants in Kathmandu and Kabul also met via Skype to report about their work in progress.

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The IYMS 2016 delegates were invited to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and met with the Honorable Shri Ranjit Rae, Indian Ambassador to Nepal. He spoke about the close relations between India and Nepal, and graciously answered questions. The delegates also had an opportunity to see one of the 18 fire fighting engines India is donating to Nepal. 

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Himalayan TV broadcast three one-half hour episodes about the Summit, including interviews with organizers and delegates.

Seen here, Pratick Paudel (Nepal) interviewing Bea Pourbagher Dehkordi (Sweden) and Jomana Madieh (Palestine). 


At the heart of IYMS is the idea that well-crafted media can inspire change in others. This was evident in the work produced “Between the Summits” by our filmmakers.

a) The USA team shared their comedic short on the water crisis in California, Two Drips, and the b) Hong Kong team screened an animation on illegal electrofishing in Mayanmar. c) Bea Pourbagher Dehkordi (Sweden) shared a funny and touching comedic short, The Party, about an overweight youth gaining self-acceptance, d) Mizhgan Kirmani from Pakistan screened her interview with Sheena Kermani, a woman’s rights activist who courageously defies taboos on dance, using her performances to protest global violence against women. e) Babar Ali from Pakistan (pictured filming at IYMS 2016) shared his beautifully produced short film, Ek Pao Dahi, the story of a young husband and father struggling to resist a life of crime to alleviate his family’s poverty. f) Mashhoor Aboelfouh Fawzy from Egypt (pictured filming at IYMS 2016) screened one episode of his multi-part TV series, Transit, on the refugee crisis in Europe. This led to an impassioned discussion about what countries were (or weren’t doing) to help, and a call to have the series shown around the world to spark action on the issue. g) Marija Ratković Vidaković, Ana Đordić, Antonio Britvar, and Ora and Paula Kovač from Croatia presented the Four River Film Festival, a festival dedicated to high school film with participants from all around the world. They held a presentation as well as showed some of the short films which won prizes in the previous years of the festival and invited everyone to apply for its next year's edition. 

Launching transformative projects



Those lucky enough to participate in IYMS 2016 witnessed first hand the power of youth united in the common cause of alleviating some of the world’s pain. At the Closing Ceremony, the building seemed too small to contain the energy of the assembled delegates.

They were filled with ideas – creative, compassionate, determined ideas – to use their talents to change the world. 

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Pain into Pearls grew out of our concern for the growing number of young people who use violence as a means for achieving self-worth. This collaborative project will offer the world’s youth another choice – self-worth achieved through creation, freedom and connection. IYMS has found that support from friends across the globe can help those feeling isolated and hopeless. Young people from Western countries will partner with young people from the Middle East and East to create art that allows all to transform pain and fear into hope and courage. The artwork will be submitted to the Diritti a Colori youth art festival in Italy and displayed on the IYMS website.

Youthful Bridges Across South Asia

Anirban Das from India launched his Declaration of Unity to build bridges between the youth of India, Nepal and Pakistan. At the Closing Ceremony, representatives from these countries pledged their commitment to work together to ensure youth empowerment, universal education and food security, and lobby their governments for support. The first step of this campaign will bring Anirban to Pakistan to work with Babar Ali on a mission to interview youth in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Babar will produce a short film about this journey, to encourage global youth to engage with those in Pakistan and West Asia and end their sense of isolation. Anirban and Manoj Bohara (Nepal) will be representing their countries and IYMS at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Youth Dialogue in China in September, 2016. 



Less than one month after the Summit, IYMS sent its representative Anna Eriksson (Sweden) to serve on the jury at the Four River Film Festival in Croatia, a national festival for high school films. At the Festival, Croatian delegates Antonio Britvar, Ora Kovač and Paula Kovač led four days of workshops entitled “Seven World Problems, Seven Solutions: IYMS”. Participants completed four short issue films. 

 IYMS Workshops in Croatia by Antonio, Ora and Paula

IYMS Workshops in Croatia by Antonio, Ora and Paula


Also in September, Antonio Britvar has conducted a workshop and screened work from IYMS 2016 at the Youth Cinema Network Conference in Prestatyn, Wales. The YCN brings together representatives from youth film festivals and media workshops. 


 Antonio with the workshop participants from Prestatyn High School in Wales

Antonio with the workshop participants from Prestatyn High School in Wales

Passion, Joy and Friendships

Sharing inspiring, meaningful work that will transform society is only half of the mission of IYMS. Equally important is the creation of an international family, bound together by love and friendship. That is why fun was an essential part of IYMS 2016. Birthday parties (with Happy Birthday sung in 14 languages), trekking into the hills, soccer matches, a talent show, feasting on Nepalese cuisine, touring the sites of Kathmandu – IYMS 2016 was a joyful celebration of possibilities! 


The complete presentation of Public Service Films and Declarations for Action created by the delegates of the 11th IYMS in Kathmandu, Nepal can be found HERE.



I thought of the magic of being connected with everyone there. How far we could be in the distance, how close we are in our essence...
— Francesca Malagutti (Italy)


In the past decade, we’ve had over 600 people from 52 countries participate in our IYMS activities. They have overcome many challenges to demonstrated the passion of youth and the power of media to inspire others to create a more just, healthy and peaceful planet.

It is our wish that this example will give you hope and courage for the future.



* Photo credits: Benett Berkowitz, Gregor Cichocki, Frida Brandt, Cathee Cohen, Beatrice Pourbagher Dehkordi, Mashhoor Aboelftouh Fawzy, Saurav K.C., Mahesh Kushwaha, John Latimer, Giovanni Malagutti, Birgitta Olsson, Sarah Randolph, Evelyn Seubert, Asha Thapa, Marija Ratković Vidaković, Antonio Britvar