20–30 September 2018

Mountain, Priest, Son still

Mountain, Priest, Son

A short Himalayan documentary on the metaphysics and morality of risk in the face of socio-environmental change

This beautiful and inspirational film brings to life the experiences of a young disaster survivor and his family. It offers insights into the vulnerability and resilience of a community affected by environmental and social change. The documentary is set in the valley of Kedarnath in the Himalayas.


About the film

University of Sheffield PhD student Vaibhav Kaul, who researches disaster risk in the face of rapid environmental and social change across the High Himalayas, has partnered with Sheffield-based artist John Seddon to make this short ethnographic documentary about everyday life, beliefs and hopes in one of India’s most sacred and geologically fragile mountain landscapes.

  • Language: Hindi, Garhwali
  • Running time: 27 minutes
  • Directors: John Seddon and Vaibhav Kaul
  • Producer: Vaibhav Kaul

Find out more about the film on the Mountain, Priest, Son website.

Vaibhav Kaul is a socially committed mountain geographer, visual artist, and wandering poet from the Himalayas. His academic interests range from glaciology to ethnomusicology. Hosted by the University of Sheffield, his ongoing doctoral research project seeks to understand and enhance the resilience of remote rural communities facing precipitation-related geophysical hazards in high-mountain environments. Prior to this, he gained academic experience in Geography, Environmental Change and Management at the Universities of Delhi and Oxford, received technical training in rock, snow and ice climbing, and worked on field-based sustainable development projects in India. His recent mountain films and geological and ethnographic photography collections have been exhibited in India, Nepal, Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Britain, Canada and the USA.

John Seddon is a cinematographer and film director based in Sheffield. His passion for culture, story and aesthetics has taken him across the globe – from ethnic minority farming communities in China to concrete jungles in São Paulo. A University of York Film and TV Production graduate, he has worked in prime time television drama with commercial production firms, on the ground with charities, and as a freelance photographer, graphic designer and self-shooting filmmaker. His most notable work to date is Maliko (2016). Made for an NGO on a shoestring, the film changed national policing policy towards street children in Malawi.

The production team also includes: University of Sheffield social geographer Matt Watson, University of Sheffield World Music Performer in Residence John Ball, University of Sheffield Sonic Arts alumnus and music producer John Mercer (Riverrun Studios), University of Sheffield Music alumnus and multi-instrumentalist Ford Collier, and US-based sound recordist and visual artist Ashwin Gokhale.

The project is co-supported by the Department of Geography’s Culture, Space and Difference Research Cluster and the Dudley Stamp Memorial Award 2015 (Royal Geographical Society with IBG).