By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Dec. 8 The 17th edition of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (Kimff) is kicking off here from December 11. In the five-day festival, more than 70 films, including documentaries, fiction, short, and experimental films from 29 different countries will be screened, Basanta Thapa, Kimff chair informed at a press meet on Sunday. Thapa said, "The festival will entertain and engage the audience in conversations around the issues that affect the Nepali public". The Kimff 2019 will also celebrate Sir Edmund Hillary's centennial year by opening with a special screening of The Ascent of Everest about the conquest of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953. The top three winners will be awarded cash prize of Rs. 200,000, Rs. 150,000 and Rs.100,000 sponsored by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Deep Laxmi Foundation, Fredi-Ursulla Wohland from Switzerland. This year Kimff and Open Society Foundations will also present "Paribartit Nepal" short film competition for young Nepali filmmakers. The three best short films will receive Rs. 40,000, Rs.30,000, and Rs. 20,000 respectively. Kimff's Nepal Panorama will once again showcase 17 exciting films by local talents, the organisers said. In Nepal Panorama, The Nepal Film Development Board will sponsor the cash prize of Rs. 75,000 for the Best Documentary. The Audience Award of Rs.75,000 is sponsored by Oscar International College of Film Studies, Thapa said. In the presence of filmmakers, film enthusiasts, critics, scholars, journalists, artists and mountaineers, Kimff will include discussion forums, guest lectures, exhibitions of books and photos and installation art projects, they said. Kimff will co-present an interactive storytelling session about snow leopard conservation with WWF Nepal. Likewise, panel discussions with Plan International Nepal and the British Council are also planned. The Festival highlights also include Master Classes by Australian adventurer and filmmaker Michael Dillon and Nepal artist Tsherin Sherpa, Thapa said.