White Sun wins New Voices award at Palm Springs

KATHMANDU: Nepali feature film White Sun (Seto Surya) has won the New Voices/ New Visions Award at 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), which was announced on January 14 at Hilton Palm Springs Hotel, California.

White Sun beat nine other films to win the Voices/New Visions Award, one of the categories among nine categories of jury awards.

In this category, 10 films were showcased from emerging international directors bringing their first or second narrative features, as per a press release issued by PSIFF on its website (psfilmfest.org) on January 14.

Directed by Deepak Rauniyar, White Sun was selected by a jury of festival programmers and US distributors. Jonathan Howell (founder-director, Big World Pictures), Funa Maduka (Global Content Acquisition group, Netflix) and Jane Schoettle (International Programmer, TIFF) were the jury for this category.

#WhiteSun among 'best of fest' at @PSFilmFest If you've not already watched it, watch today, 8pm at Camelot Theatres https://t.co/NROlZumEUa

— Deepak Rauniyar (@deerauniyar) January 16, 2017

Actors Dayahang Rai, Asha Magarati and Rabindra Singh Baniya portrayed the lead characters in White Sun, which is a story of two brothers set in the aftermath of the decade-long civil war of Nepal.

The jury issued the following statement, "White Sun, for its sympathetic but unsentimental portrayals of multiple perspectives, artfully integrating landscape as a participating character in the film. Featuring stunning performances from an ensemble cast, directed with sensitivity, the film's storytelling leaves space for the audience to experience the tension between tradition and modernity. The film balances personal and political drama with a touch of absurdist humour."

Kati Kati produced by Kenya and Germany was honoured in the New Voices/New Visions Special Mentions.

"I am pleased, honoured and grateful to receive this award. We're at important time here in Nepal, where we're trying to find identity and recognition for our home-grown cinema. Awards like this means that we are on the right track. I’m so happy. I want to dedicate this award to all hard-working crew and cast of White Sun," Rauniyar told THT in a facebook interview.

The festival held from January 2-16, screened 190 films from 72 countries.