Point of View: Deconstructing Documentary Filmmaking Practice in Nepal
Zoom Panel Discussion:
Date: 18th November 2020
Time: 4:30pm NPT (Nepal Time)
Panelists: Abhimanyu Dixit, Asmita Shrish, Binod Paudel, Dipendra Bhandari, Kesang Tseten, Shanta Nepali
Moderator: Kshitiz Adhiraj
Abhimanyu Dixit is a filmmaker, film educator, & film campaigner based in Kathmandu. As a filmmaker, he actively writes, directs and produces films through his company Gauthali Entertainment. He's involved with the film festival circuit of Kathmandu and has worked as the coordinator and programming director for major film festivals in Nepal. He believes there needs to be more discussions and debates around cinema and is constantly looking for ways to foster that- as a faculty for film studies in Media Studies at Kathmandu University, and a film critic in the Kathmandu Post with a focus on Nepali films. Currently, he is working on his debut feature documentary: Beyond the Scale.
Born and raised in Nepal, Asmita Shrish is based between Nepal and UK. Her practice oscillates across documentary, artist film and fiction, reflecting on the representation of identity within physical and metaphysical spaces. Often collaborating with her subjects, Asmita is particularly interested in examining delicate and private spaces within an intricate framework. She has been mentored by auteurs Naomi Kawase, Bela Tarr , Shirin Neshat and Nilotpal Majumdar who is an on-going mentor. Her films Auntie Ganga, Gyalmu’s House and Chandra have won multiple awards and have been screened in more than 100 film festivals around the world including Locarno, São Paulo, Busan, London, IDFA, Sheffield, Banff, Edinburgh, Fribourg to name a few. Asmita is an alumni of Berlinale Talents (2020), BFI Network/BAFTA crew (2019/2020), Berwick LUX project bootcamp (2019), Asian Film Academy alumni (2014) and is fellow of IDFA Academy (2011). Most recently, she is a beneficiary of the Sinchi Fund 2019/2020 as an emerging Indigenous filmmaker. She is also a filmmaking mentor at the University of Arts London.
Binod Paudel is a Nepali filmmaker and the CEO/ Principal of Oscar Film College – Nepal’s premier film studies institute. His script for critically acclaimed film Saanghuro received numerous awards including the National Award/Critics Award and SAARC Film Festival Best Fiction Award in 2013/14. His directorial debut Bulbul(2019) picked up multiple awards at the National Film Awards including Best Director and was Nepal’s official entry to the Oscars. Binod has served as jury in prestigious film festivals and collaborated on several international productions. Combining documentary aesthetics with narrative acumen and an understanding of international distribution, Binod focuses on developing new, accessible stories that connect South Asia to the world.
Dipendra Bhandari is a documentary filmmaker and producer. He directed and produced Journey to Yarsa which follows a family of yarsagumba pickers from a rural mountain village in Nepal. He co-produced and shot Talking to the Air, a film about the hardy mountain ponies in Mustang in northwest Nepal. Both films were screened at kimff. Dipendra is the MD of Adventure Nepal Production and is currently working on his documentary The Last Lift. He has directed and produced numerous film projects for development organisations in Nepal.
Kesang Tseten’s documentaries have been screened at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival and in Film Southasia, and internationally at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, Leipzig, Yamagata, Thessaloniki, Krakow, Viennale, and the Margaret Mead, among others. His films include Who will be a Gurkha, Castaway Man, Trembling Mountain, We Corner People, and a trilogy on Nepali migrant workers. He wrote the original screenplay for the feature Mukundo, awarded best script, Nepal’s entry to the academy awards, as well as KARMA. He is currently working on a film about Bonpos in the Himalaya, a revisit of Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf, as well as developing a feature project. He is a graduate of Dr Graham’s School, Amherst College and Columbia University in the US.
Shanta Nepali is a Filmmaker, Adventurer, Journalist; Travel Photographer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Shanta also has a firm grasp on News Media with a decade of experience in television production. Now, she is one of the leading female-filmmakers with a unique sense of visual storytelling in Nepal. She has been Directing and Producing TV Shows; Documentaries focusing on Adventure, Travel, Lifestyle, Sports, Human Rights and Social issues. Her work has been screened in many local channels and International networks such as Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Animal Planet and Nat Geo etc. From Climbing Mountain Peaks to Riding Motorbikes across the High Himalayan alleys, capturing Nature and people at their best in her camera, she stands on her belief of amplifying marginalized voices through her films. She is a Founder, Director and CEO at Shanta Nepali Productions and also One World Media, UK fellow for this year, among a group of 20 other amazing, creative international filmmakers and journalists from around the World.
Kshitiz Adhiraj is the founding director of Docskool. He is a filmmaker and cultural worker working with fiction and documentaries in Nepal and South Asia. He is coordinator of Clinik.Kathmandu Documentary Lab.