Nepali feature film White Sun (Seto Surya) will open the 14th Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (Kimff), slated to be held at the Kumari Hall in Kamal Pokhari in the Capital, starting Dec 8. White Sun, which was recently screened in Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film festival, is slated for an all-Nepal release from Dec 9.
Speaking during an event hosted in the Capital earlier this week, Tsering Ritar Sherpa, producer of the film, shared, “We are very excited with the response the film received after being screened at the Venice Film Festival. The film, based on the 10-year Maoist insurgency, has been garnering positive reviews internationally; hopefully, the audience at home will like it too.”
According to Sherpa, the film tries to explore the psychological impact the insurgency had on Nepalis.
Directed by Deepak Rauniyar, White Sun features actors Dayahang Rai, Raj Kumar Baniya and Sumi Malla in lead roles.
Along with White Sun, Kimff 2016 will feature a total of 80 films—features, animations, short films and documentaries—from 28 different countries.
The film fest will also hold a short film competition under the theme: Strengthening Nepal’s Public Services.
This year’s festival is slated to run through Dec 12.
Nepali film Seto Surya(White Sun) directed by Deepak Rauniyar was premiered in the Orizzonti section — an international competition — at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival to much appreciation on September 6.
*Video and photos are courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema
It has also won 6th INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue under Collateral Awards of the 73rd Venice Film Festival.
“From a shortlist of finally three films the INTERFILM Jury at the 73rd International Film Festival Venice has chosen the winner of the 6th INTERFILM Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue.
The jury decided for the Nepalisian film Seta Surya(White Sun) by Deepak Rauniyar which was screened in the Orizzonti section of the festival,” the website of the Award writes.
“It is obviously a moment of joy to be receiving an award at one of the world’s oldest and biggest film festivals of the world. We all are happy,” director Rauniyar expressed to The Himalayan Times via a Facebook interview. Sadly, he wasn’t there to receive the award.
Highway was his first feature film and it also became “the first feature of Nepal to premiere in a major international film festival. Now, White Sun has taken us to another level”.
He has had a deep belief that “Nepali films like other films can be distributed and screened across the audience of the world.
I would be jubilant that day when our films will be distributed easily like other films reach us. My belief has been firm after White Sun was screened at two big film festivals in a gap of four days and the response we got.”
After Venice Film Festival, White Sun had a North American premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. The 87-minute-film is a story after the country’s civil war.
It features Dayahang Rai, Asha Magrati, Rabindra Singh Baniya, Sumi Malla and Amrit Pariyar among others.
With the win, lead actor Rai feels that “the country and Nepali films have garnered respect”. When the film was well received at the premiere at Venice with a long applause in a hall of more than 1,200 audience, he is on cloud nine.
He shared, “I felt that this is the success for what I have worked till now!” He had also not expected that people would be interested in a Nepali film.
The Festival ran from August 31 to September 10. INTERFILM is the international network for dialogue between church and film promoting the appreciation of cinema’s artistic, spiritual and social significance in the church and calls attention to the relevance of church, theology and religion for cinema.
As festivals are critical for the activities of INTERFILM, it participates in festivals like Venice and award prizes to outstanding films.
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.