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Nepal International Film Festival – NIFF  winding up

Nepal International Film Festival – NIFF kicked off on 21 February. The fest is scheduled to conclude on Monday. 60 movies from 31 countries participated in the festival taking place at Nepal Tourism Board and Rastriya Sabha Griha.

According to the organizers, the festival is organized to create a bridge between alternative & mainstream cinema and also to celebrate cinema as a medium of intellectual expression. The global event featured panel discussion on issues, including ‘Challenges of the Nepali Film Industry’ and ‘Women in Cinema’.

‘Green Cats’ will be screened on the last day of the event. The film is directed by an Estonian film director Andres Puustusmaa. It revolves around the story of two old men who have spent their entire lives in jail and are released on amnesty at the age of 70. The film portrays the struggles of prisoners for freedom.

Films that will be screened on Monday are listed below:

Film

Time

‘Ala Changso’

110 minutes

‘The Blind of The Cathedral’

17 minutes

‘Astitwo’

8 minutes

‘The Wind Will Carry Us’

15 minutes

‘The Stained Flag’

8 minutes

‘The Myth 0’

13 minutes

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What to see at the Nepal International Film Festival

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.

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.

Day 1: Hari

There is no choice but to see Hari on the first day, and this film is worth its solo slot. It will even make for a good second watch, if you’ve seen it already. The film reportedly performed dismally at the box office, but was acclaimed by film reviewers, with one critic touting it as “a Kafkaesque Nepali flick.” Hari is definitely an outlier in the canon of Nepali cinema. While it’s a realistic feature, telling the story of an identity crisis-stricken youth, elements of surrealism also make their way into its narrative in a way that feels natural, hardly superimposed. The film is beautiful to look at, with neat, informed cinematography, which shows rather than tells, and a nuanced production design. It’s directed by debutantes Pratik Gurung and Safal Gurung, and features Bipin Karki as the titular Hari. It’s often funny, often tragic and often just fantastic. Hari shows at 5pm on February 21.

Day 2: Panchayat

This film was released in March last year and it went almost unnoticed, despite the fact it was shown to a number of political leaders. The film came into the limelight later because it was selected as Nepal’s official entry for the upcoming Academy Awards. The film, however, didn’t make it past the preliminary round. Panchayat is written and directed by Shivam Adhikari, and features actors Neeta Dhungana, Saroj Khanal and Rupa Rana in lead roles. As the name suggests, it is set during the autocratic Panchayat era and tells a story of abuse and a clash of egos. I haven’t seen the film and its merits are little known, but if nothing else, it might be interesting to see just what kind of Nepali film made the cut for the Oscars this year. Panchayat will be screened at the Rastriya Sabha Griha, at 12 pm on February 22.

Day 3: 1190

This curious film is directed by a young writer-director Andzej Gavriss, originally from Riga, Latvia, known for his experimental filmmaking. This film “follows a young woman on a dark journey to find her lost home and identity.” Gavriss is an extensive traveller and draws inspiration from his travels and juxtaposes them with his personal experiences. “Gavriss’ distinctly stylised portfolio combines beautifully crafted shots with storytelling that packs a punch,” reads one review.  1190 is 30 minutes long and will be screened at Rastriya Sabha Griha on Saturday, February 23, at 2:45 pm.

Day 4: Highway 318

This is a road movie directed by Chinese director Yunxing Nie. The film takes viewers on a journey across the titular Highway 318 that connects China with Tibet, noted as one of world’s most picturesque routes. The film follows two characters, one Chinese and another Tibetan, both of whom are travelling for different reasons but have one thing in common—they both seek redemption from their past. “Their tough journey together across endless valleys and snowy mountains will bring them closer to each other, becoming a deep inner journey and a meditation on life. Harsh, mysterious and breath-taking, Highway 318 can become a road to redemption,” reads a note for the Warsaw Film Festival, where this 98-minute long film was previously screened. It will show at 4pm on February 24 at Rastriya Sabha Griha.

Day 5: Green Cats

Green Cats is an Estonian crime drama directed by Andres Puustusmaa, who comes from a theatre background, having worked as an actor on stage and on television. The film follows two old men who have lived behind bars for most of their lives and were granted amnesty when they were both 70. Even though they didn’t commit a serious crime, they ‘deceived’ their then country—Soviet Estonia. This 105-minute long feature tells the story of their pathos, their newfound freedom and trials of the passage of time. It will be screened at Nepal Tourism Board on Monday, February 25, at 10 am.

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Nepal International Film Festival 2019 Kicks Off at Kathmandu!

The five-day event will showcase 60 films, including 13 feature-length fiction films

Calling all the Nepali movie buffs! Get ready for some engaging activity over the next few days.

The Nepal International Film Festival (NIFF) begins on February 21, 2019, just days before the Nepal International Theatre Festival.

The International Film Festival will be held at the Nepali Tourism Board and Rastriya Sabha Griha.

According to Festival Chair KP Pathak, the film festival is being organized with an aim to ‘bridge the gap between alternative & mainstream cinema’ and celebrate cinema as a medium of intellectual expression.

What to Expect at the International Film Festival?

The five-day event will showcase 60 films, including 13 feature-length fiction films and the remaining are short films from 31 countries.

These shortlisted films have been selected by a jury headed by Nepali filmmaker and journalist Bijay Ratna Tuladhar.

NIFF first press conference on 17th Jan 2019, at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)

The global event will also hold panel discussions on various issues, including ‘Challenges of the Nepali Film Industry’ and ‘Women in Cinema’ that will witness the participation of key industry stakeholders.

Eric Valli’s ‘masterclass’ is another important program that the audience can look forward to. Valli’s 1999 movie ‘Caravan’ is the only Nepali nomination for the Oscars, so far.

Event Format

Formet PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal will inaugurate the Nepal International Film Festival.

Post the inauguration, 2018 critically-acclaimed Nepali movie ‘Hari’ will be screened at the festival.

Note to Attendees: The international film festival will feature Nepal premiers along with a number of already featured films that didn’t receive the deserving audience earlier.

This list also includes Panchayat, Nepal’s submission to the Oscars this year.

Here’s a list of Nepali films that will be featured at the Nepal International Film Festival:

Day 1 – February 21, 2019
Time: 5 PM
Venue: Rashtriya Sabha Griha

The first day of the festival features Nepali film ‘Hari‘. This movie was hugely appreciated by film reviewers due to its realistic appeal and a naturally-flowing narrative. Directors Pratik Gurung and Safal Gurung have done a fantastic job at putting together Hari’s story which is a combination of funny, tragic and fantastic.

Day 2 – February 22, 2019
Time: 12 PM
Venue: Rashtriya Sabha Griha

Panchayat did not get the attention it deserved when it released in March 2018. However, the film was brought back to the limelight after getting finalized as Nepal’s official submission for the upcoming Academy Awards.

It revolves around Nepal’s Panchayath era and is a tale of abuse and clash of egos.

Day 3 – February 23, 2019
Time: 2:45 PM
Venue: Rastriya Sabha Griha

Not by a Nepali director, this film is a creative work of Latvian filmmaker Andzej Gavriss. 1190 presents the story of a young women on journey to find her lost home and identity.

Garviss is known for his style in experimental filmmaking. “Gavriss’ distinctly stylized portfolio combines beautifully crafted shots with storytelling that packs a punch,” reads a review.

Day 4 – February 24, 2019
Time: 4 PM
Venue: Rastriya Sabha Griha

Highway 318‘ is a story directed by Chinese director Yunxing Nie. The film features the journey of two individuals from China and Tibet. As the story unfolds, viewers are treated to the picturesque views along Highway 318 that connects China and Tibet. Make the most of this film that showcases the journey of two individuals towards redemption from their past.

Day 5 – February 25, 2019
Time: 10 AM
Venue: Nepal Tourism Board

Green Cats‘, a crime drama directed by Estonian film director Andres Puustusmaa revolves around two old men who have spent their entire lives in jail and are released on amnesty at the age of 70 years. The film lays bare their struggles with prison life, their freedom and the pain of the loss of time.

So Nepal movie fans, where are you headed to? Hope you enjoy your time at the international film festival. Let us know what you think about the festival and what you liked aspect did you like most of it!

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