Staff Pick: Wasfia

Wasfia | 13 min | 2017 Official Selection
Sean Kusanagi, Wasfia Nazreen, Bryn Mooser, John Agnew, Chris Kelly, Hayley Pappas, Kelly Kandle, RYOT Films


I watch a lot of films. Hundreds of films. So when I come across a film that stops me in my tracks and takes my breath away, I remember it. Over several months of intense film consideration for the 2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Wasfia was the first film that had this magical effect on me. And it’s one that sticks with me, months after I first watched it and it was shown on our festival screens.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Adventurer of the Year Wasfia Nazreen doesn’t just climb for the thrill or to check items off her bucket list; she climbs for a cause. She doesn’t climb to conquer mountains or to show nature that humans are superior beings. As the first Bangladeshi to scale the Seven Summits, Wasfia has made it her purpose to brave these climbs for the sake of something larger – for the women of Bangladesh.

Wasfia’s message is one of hope. She encourages the young girls and women of Bangladesh to pursue their unique goals and ambitions and be free of other’s expectations and demands. By setting a dramatic example (climbing the tallest peaks on the planet) Wasfia shows them that any goal is within reach.

Driven by the need to show the world how far Bangladeshi women have come since the country’s formation, Wasfia took on the challenge of summiting the world’s peaks declaring “Life is too short and these are leaps of faith that as human
beings it’s essential to respond to.” Beautifully filmed and poetically woven together, this short glimpse into one inspiring woman’s struggles and triumphs shows that by being free of the doubts and expectations of others as well as our own inhibitions we can accomplish beautiful things. It is within our power to climb every mountain in our path.

Wasfia is currently in our Film Library and available to borrow if you’re an active SYRCL member. (Reach out to Alena Loomis to see if your membership is current). You can also check out Wasfia at an On Tour stop near you!

This month’s staff pick is brought to you by Jess Swigonski, Festival Liaison for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.