While intimidating 14 mountains that are more than 8,000 meters tend to dominate the world. Nepal is often overlooked on the international stage. Nonetheless, there are a bunch of noteworthy films both produced & directed by Nepalis & foreigners that will engage & show you the nation’s far-flung history & Culture. For filmmakers, any kind of filmmaking production in the country is a lengthy process & requires a lot of attention.
Here is the rundown of 10 Nepali based movies only a Handful of people know.
Himalaya was the first film that represented Nepal in Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. Directed by French director and photographer Eric Valli ‘Himalaya’ beautifully captures the extremely remote piece of Farwest Nepal: Dolpo which lies in the rain shadow of the Himalaya. This film tells the story of salt rivalries between elderly chief & new young chief to make the annual trek with a train of yaks.
The Sari Soldiers (2008)
Directed by Julie Bridgham sari soldiers, is a story of six women & their struggle to shape Nepal’s future amid riotous times. The six women’s faced difficult times amid the civil war. The films showcase the chaotic situation of war & how these women’s stood against it. It shows all the sides of conflict & the democratic revolution.
Kathmandu, A Mirror in the Sky (2011)
Kathmandu A Mirror in the Sky” is a story of female social worker & her battle against the messed up system. The film is set in the ’90s but it’s able to hold the reality of today. The film Based on the life of a young instructor Laia, who marries Nepali man just to remain In the country & work in ghettos of Kathmandu. Directed by Spanish director Iciar Bollain, film is available in English & Nepali Version.
Who Will Be a Gurkha (2012)
Directed by Nepali director Kesang Tseten, This film follows the stringent three-phase selection process for British Military.Nepal has a long history of Gurkhas & their bravery. The Gurkha soldiers have to go through a rigorous six-month selection process to be enlisted as the Gurkha Army.
Red Monsoon (2014)
Directed By Nepali filmmaker Eelum Dixit, red Monsoon is based on the New Nepali generation struggle in a chaotic Kathmandu Valley society. The film is heavily inspired by the Bollywood mainstream movies:there’s abusive father, comic servant, abused daughter-in-law, trouble making neighbor, & the disrespected girl who steals away with a man of her decision. Even though the characters appear similar to a typical Bollywood movie, the climax is not alike Bollywood. No sign of Happy ending here.
Highway to Dhampus (2014)
Directed by Rick McFarland, Highway to Dhampus was the first feature-length film to have been shot almost entirely in Nepal by an American crew against the beautiful backdrop of the Annapurna Mountain. The stunning aerial shots of Pokhara, Dhampus summed by the Sam Cardon’s moving original music, the film teases Nepalese living in abroad. The story progress with the Elizabeth and Colt, & their visit to an isolated orphanage in the mountains. The movies depict the lives of ordinary people, living an ordinary life while addressing questions about love, giving and making a difference.
The Everest movies the adaptation of the book ‘into the thin air’ by Jon Krakauer. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur Everest recounts to the narrative of New Zealand’s Robert “Rob” Edwin Hall, who on May 10, 1996, together with Scott Fischer, teamed up on a joint expedition to ascend Mount Everest. The expedition team with a group of 8, including the expedition leader was killed by the disastrous avalanche. Since there’s no sign of Sherpa in the movie, this movie got a lot of criticism. Despite getting mixed reviews from the audiences with Hollywood biggies like Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke on the leading roles film is able to pull up really well. Everest received a fair share of reviews from the audiences & appreciated worldwide because of the subject.
Ever since this documentary featured on the discovery channel, this movie got a lot of good reviews on the subject matter. So far the mainstream Hollywood avoided Sherpa in their films, this movie shed light on those high altitude climbers. Directed by Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, the film tells the hard-bitten life of the Sherpa, their history & vicious encounters between Sherpa’s and foreign climbers in 2013. Shot during the 2014 climbing season, during which an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa’s, and was – until the earthquakes the following year – the deadliest day on the mountain. The film showcases the high altitude hero Phurba Tashi, a Sherpa who had submitted Everest 21 times & was under pressure from his family to retire due to the high risks involved.
Seto Surya: White Sun (2016)
Directed by Deepak Rauniyar, Seto Surya(white Sun) is the story of an anti-regime partisan & his political hitch in the wake of coming back to his remote mountain town in Nepal for his dad’s memorial service. The films showcase the aftermath of civil war, how families being parted. It has been 10 years since the end of Nepal’s war but the wound is still fresh, hard to forget. Seto Surya also represented Nepal at the international film festival Venice & Toronto Film festival.
Even When I Fall (2017)
Directed by Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon, Even When I Fall depicts the incredible story of Nepal’s first circus, set up by survivors of child trafficking. It took 6 years long for directors to come up with the story through two female performers, Sheetal and Saraswati, each with their own terrible story. The movie unveiled, the insights: each year, 10,000 children are abducted or sold to Indian circuses. They train and perform under Brutal and injurious conditions, Once in a while (if ever) see their families and miss out on a proper childhood.