Team Nepal, is the only Nepali documentary that will be screened at FSA ‘05. The film is about a passionate team of soccer players, representing a youth club from the Nepali border town of Birgunj, who travel to Sonpur, Bihar, to play in a tournament. Interestingly, it is not only the documentation of the game but also a subtle expression of the fraternity and the harmonious relationship that people in the cross-border territories between Nepal and India share.
Director Girish Giri said, “Despite all the competitiveness, the emotion that people in the cross border region share was something that really touched and inspired me. It transcends all frontiers.”
Born and brought up in Birgunj, Giri, the only filmmaker to represent Nepal in FSA ‘05, came to Kathmandu in 1998, and developed a keen interest in documentary filmmaking. “There can be no better way to express the agonies that besets society than documentary films,” he says.
It was on November 23 that Giri took the genre seriously. Giri is a journalist by profession but in due course became fascinated with the clever use of camera, which could be as strong a medium of expression as words have always been thought to be.
Giri has always deciphered the intimate relationship that fiction and non-fiction genre share. “Whether it’s a fiction or a non-fiction, much depends on how ably one is able to bring forth a powerful message,” he explains.
Giri’s focus of study as a feature writer was invariably entertainment but coming to terms with the differences in mentality between Kathmanduites and the rest of Nepal, he discovered a strong point to make. And that’s what Giri succeeds in doing as a filmmaker. Still a journalist at heart, he doesn’t rule out the possibility of being one of the most prolific filmmakers in Nepal. “It is a great experience being nominated for the festival. It is something like my dream come true,” enthuses Giri. He has always believed that the major drawback impeding the progress of filmmaking in Nepal has been the utter disregard for genuine issues.
“It’s the culture of plagiarism that has plagued the industry,” he reasons. So what makes Giri’s documentary stand out among the rest of Nepali films? “Documentary films are regarded to have less aesthetic value, but it is always the creative and the artistic dimension that makes a documentary stand out,” he says. Experiences as a journalist indeed helped the maverick filmmaker, though it is the first time he has used the medium to touch upon subjects that he always did with powerful words. And he still loves being what he has been, always.