Nepali movies with home-grown content and themes are doing well
Sep 23, 2016- Chhakka Panja, a recently released comedy movie, has become one of the country’s highest grossing movies of the year. The movie with a good-natured script, and based on Nepali migrant workers, has joined the illustrious Rs1crore club.
Nepali movies are making good collections at the box office in recent times. This is good news for the Nepali movie industry, which has had to compete with Bollywood and Hollywood movies. While box office collections are not the only yardstick to determine a movie’s quality, a few Nepali movies are not only earning profits but are also winning critical domestic and international acclaim.
For example, Kalo Pothi premiered in the Venice International Film Festival’s Critics Week in 2015, where it was rewarded the Fedeora certificate for best film by the Italian film critics’ society. And this year, two Nepali movies—White Sun and Dadyaa—were featured at the Festival. White Sun even managed to bag the 6th INTERFILM Award of the 73rd Venice Film Festival.
To be sure, many Nepali movies in the past, as well as in the present, have been far from stellar. Nepali movie makers have often not shied away from borrowing the storylines and peculiarities from Bollywood movies. But recent films like Loot, Highway, Apabad and Pashupati Prasad, among others, were able to garner huge acclaim and revenues. The message to Nepali film makers is clear: if movies are well made, people will flock to the theatres to watch them.
A thriving movie industry can be a boon for a nation as a whole. Firmly established in Mumbai, the Indian film industry, or Bollywood, employs hundreds of thousands of people and has been growing by 10 percent annually. By 2016, its revenue is expected to reach $4.5 billion, according to DI International Business Development.
Bollywood took a leap forward in 2001 when it gained “industry status” that allowed banks to lend to it. Since 2004, its gross receipts have almost tripled. And it is not only about the money; the power of films to contribute to social change is also well documented.
The Nepali film industry has come a long way since the first movie, Aama, was made in 1964. The quality of the films being produced seems to be improving in recent years and more and more people are watching them. Huge numbers of people outside the country are also contributing to the sales, with Nepali movies being screened in countries like Qatar, Dubai and the UK. If the movie industry in the country is formalised like in India, it will encourage more independent and creative movie makers.
If films are based on contemporary subjects and have good content and presentation, they will do well, not only domestically but also internationally. Recent successes of a number of Nepali movies stand testament.
*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia