Passion for movies
For most of us catching a new movie at the theatres is just another day out, especially if it is the one we have been waiting to watch. But for some, movies are not just a form of entertainment, but a passion rather. Even their choice of movies is different from the rest of the crowd. They prefer movies that make them think, they hunt for the often called off-beat movies.
Such movies hardly come to the big screens, but thanks to people who have a passion for such movies, there are various places in the Capital where one can watch such movies.
Lazimpat Gallery Café
The movies screened at the Lazimpat Gallery Café do not follow any particular theme. For Suraj Pradhan of the Café, watching movies and screening them is a hobby.
“Basically I enjoy watching movies in the Café.
The whole ambience is different, and I want others to get that experience as well,” he says.
They screen a movie every Friday at 6:45 pm and the entry is free.
Although most of the viewers are foreigners, Pradhan wants more Nepalis to come. “Movies are not just a way to kill time, you can learn so much from quality movies that are hardly shown in the cinema halls here,” he says.
In order to encourage more Nepali youth, Pradhan often asks his friends from college to come for the screenings. He even did a special screening of Caravan for his friends just to make them experience such screenings.
Movies of different genres like Letter from Iwo jima, Gandhi, Water, and City of Joy, have been screened at the Café. And it is not just English movies that are screened here, movies in other languages with English subtitles are also shown.
Although the capacity of the place is about 20, Pradhan says sometimes they have even accommodated almost 35 people.
Information about screenings is posted in newspapers and Pradhan also puts up flyers at different places.
Kathmandu Guest House
For almost six years Kathmandu Guest House has been entertaining guests and expatriates with their 8:00 pm screenings. The daily screenings include movies, slideshows and documentaries like BBC’s Planet Earth series.
They take out a weekly list of movies and the guests can choose from the list.
“The screening of Planet Earth was the best screening we’ve had,” said Sandesh Prajapati, who looks after the screenings.
The slideshows are a platform for new directors. “They can present slideshows of their adventures, trekkings or anything interesting,” says Prajapati.
Krish Bell from the Lonely Planet also conducts slideshows, three times a week, about his experiences during the season.
Kathmandu Film Society
The aim of the Kathmandu Film Society (KFS) is to develop watching movies as a culture. Rajesh Gongaju, president of KFS say, “We have no proper access to quality movies here. We just want to let people know about the existence of world class movies from places like Latin America, Africa, Asia about which people don’t know much.”
Their screening is divided into three parts: the first one happens between January and April, and showcases ‘contemporary movies’ from a particular geographical section of the world. They showed movies from Asia in their Asian Panorama this year. The second part features Great Classics, and the third one features the best of the contemporary movies.
The screenings are done every alternate Sunday at the Nepal Tourism Board hall. They announce their screenings through pamphlets and emails.
Gongaju says that till last year the audience was basically expatriates, however, the number of Nepali audience, especially youngsters, is growing. He also thinks that such screenings will help to produce good filmmakers in Nepal.
For Gongaju, the screening of Deepa Mehta’s Water in March was the most memorable. “It was probably the first time that we had to send back people as there was no seat available.”
Their nest screening is starting in July, which will feature the best classics of all time like Wild Strawberries, Strangers on a Train, and La Strada, among others.
At Alliance Francaise, the movies they screen are not just about watching quality movies or entertainment, they are also a medium to teach students about the French culture and help them improve their language. They have been screening movies with French connection from the time the language institute was established.
At present they have two clubs — Sunday Cine Club and Cine Dine Club.
Sunday Cine Club features movies based on the monthly theme and are screened every Sunday at 2:00 pm.
The Cine Dine screening takes place at 7:00 pm every last Friday of the month.
The screening is followed by dinner, which is priced at Rs 300. There is no set theme for this one.
The theme for the Sunday Cine Club can be based on either the actor or director or on any social topic. However, the movie has to have some association with France, if not language, then either the director or actor has to be French.
Prabin Bikram Rana, Deputy Director of Alliance Francaise say, “Out here people are content watching the movies released at the theatres.
They don’t see the technical aspects. They need to also notice the choice of location, use of sound, light, camera.”
Around two years back they held a special screening of French movies made during the Second World War. “The movies were about the social impacts of wars. With those movies, we wanted to show how French filmmakers made quality movies even at time when they had very limited resources,” adds Rana.