Nepali film opens new frontier

Himalayan News Service


Bhedako Oon Jasto’, a Nepali documentary documenting the origin of a folk song of the Nepali mountains has been selected for the 24th Bilan du Ethnographic Film Panorama to be held in Paris, France from March 12-20. This is another milestone for a Nepali documentary and ‘Bhedako Oon Jasto’, which received the ‘Special Mention Award’ during the Fourth Film South Asia in 2003 from a panel of judges which included the noted former BBC Journalist Mark Tully. The Ethnographic Film Panorama, which starts today in Paris, will be screening 36 documentary films from around the world, showcasing recent trends in visual anthropology and ‘Bhedako Oon Jasto’ is the only film to be selected ever by a Nepali Filmmaker.

It will also be a forum for directors to defend their work or rediscover the emotional messages their documentaries have highlighted. ‘Bhedako oon Jasto’ is scheduled for screening on March 17 during the week long festival in Paris. ‘Bhedako Oon Jasto...’ is a spontaneous documentation of a search process of a song - where noted jounalist Narayan Wagle guides Amrit Gurung a well known name from the Nepathya fame — to the roots of a folk songs in the Langtang region of the Himalayas. In addition, “Bhedako Oon Jasto” also depicts and reflects the harsh lifestyle of the mountain people and their environment.

To date, this non-fiction film has been viewed by tens of thousands of people and documentary enthusiasts across the nation and around the world. In Nepal, this film had toured to various cities of the nation and had helped local schools raise funds for educational purpose.

The film has also travelled to various festivals around the world with the Travelling Film South Asia package. In addition, international screening of the documentary has taken it to Holland during the Himalayan Film Festival in Holland in November 2004 and has also been screened for the Nepali community living in The UK, USA, Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Filmmaker Kiran Krishna Shrestha says, “This is an extra recognition to the film and to the non-fiction film scene as well. The selection of the film to this festival has increased international concern for the film. Many other festivals have now written to me to send the film to their festivals as well.”

It has also recently been recognised and felicitated by the Nepal Motion Picture Association (Nepal Chalachitra Sangh) for establishing the commercial market for Documentaries in Nepal and then promoting tourism as well. The documentary which was filmed and directed by Kiran Krishna Shrestha and promoted by nepa~laya has achieved international notice since its first screening in 2003. The increasing international recognition of “Bhedako oon Jasto” has brought the director numerous invitations for the documentary to be screened in several international festivals, an honour for the country.