Two Nepali films have been selected for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Deepak Rauniyar’s feature length film ‘White Sun’ and ‘Dadyaa’, a short film directed by Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet, will represent Nepal in Venice this year. The Venice Film Festival is one of the oldest and major international film festivals of the world.
This is the second consecutive year that Nepali films are represented at the festival. Min Bahadur Bham’s ‘Kalo Pothi’ had its world premiere there last year.
Both Nepali films will compete in the ‘Orizzonti’ (Horizons) section, which falls under the festival’s “official selection” line-up. Bham’s ‘Kalo Pothi’ was screened under the ‘International Critics’ Week’, an autonomous section separately organized by Italy’s critics’ association.
Set during the Maoist Insurgency, the 87 minute long ‘White Sun’ tells the story of two brothers with conflicting ideologies. The protagonist Chandra returns home after a decade, for his father’s final rites. The course of his journey is complicated by the harsh reality of his village.
The film stars Dayahang Rai, Asha Magrati, Rabindra Singh Baniya, Sumi Malla and Amrit Pariyar. “Getting selected for Venice will bring Nepali movies one step forward in the international arena,” Rauniyar said. “I believe this will not only promote Nepali films but Nepal as well.”
A conversation between a former guerilla and a soldier that Rauniyar witnessed eight years ago was the genesis of the movie. “I made this film to portray Nepal after the civil war and the discourse that has since followed,” he added.
‘White Sun’ has been backed by producers from USA, Netherlands and Qatar. Rauniyar’s debut feature film ‘Highway’ was screened at the 62nd Berlin Film Festival in 2012.
Bibushan and Pooja’s second short film ‘Dadyaa’ is shot in Sinja valley, Jumla. Their first short film ‘The Contagious Apparition of Dambarey Dendrite’ had a successful run in international film festivals.
‘Dadyaa’ depicts the struggles of an old couple spending an isolated life in remote Jumla. It has a runtime of 17 minutes. “Our selection in Venice shows that international audience is starting to show interest in Nepal,” said Pooja.
The eleven day long festival will start from August 31. The organizer said that the ‘Orizzonti’ section will celebrate the latest aesthetic and expressive trend in international cinema. It is a competitive section.