What to see at the Nepal International Film Festival

22nd February

Feb 21, 2019-

Kathmandu’s cinema aficionados better roll up their sleeves, as the Nepal International Film Festival starts today and the Nepal International Theatre Festival is just a few days away.

The International Film Festival, to take place in parallel sessions at the Nepal Tourism Board and Rastriya Sabha Griha, will feature 60 films—13 feature-length fiction films and the rest shorts—from 31 countries, selected by an adjudication panel led by filmmaker and journalist Bijay Ratna Tuladhar.

The purpose of the festival, contends festival chair KP Pathak, is “to bridge the gap between alternative and mainstream cinema, and to celebrate cinema as a medium of intellectual expression.” Alongside screenings, the fest will also host panel discussions on a cross-section of issues, including ‘Women in Cinema’ and ‘Challenges of the Nepali Film Industry’ featuring industry stalwarts. There’s also a tempting masterclass with Eric Valli, the French director who helmed 1999’s Caravan, Nepal’s only selection for the Oscars so far.

The festival will be inaugurated by Nepal Communist Party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, followed quickly by the screening of last year’s critically-acclaimed feature Hari. Alongside Nepal premieres, the festival will be featuring a number of films that have already graced the Nepali silver screen but perhaps did not receive the audience they deserved. This is thus a second chance to catch some critically-acclaimed gems that might have gone unnoticed, like Panchayat, Nepal’s submission to the Oscars this year. Here is a brief rundown of films that cinephiles should definitely look out for every day for the five days of the festival.

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