Published On: September 5, 2017 09:40 AM NPT By: Sonam Lama

Taking Nepali movies to international heights

Taking Nepali movies to international heights

Ujwal Ghimire is an eminent figure in Nepali film Industry. Having dedicated his time as a director over two decades, he has brought to life a dozen of successful movies namely ‘Ward No 6’, ‘Gothalo’, ‘Chhodi Gaye Paap Lagla’, ‘Kismat’ and ‘Andaj’, among others.

Ujwal earned three national awards for ‘Kismat’, Chodi Gaye Paap Lagla’ and ‘Andaj’ in 2008, 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2010 he was awarded the NEFTA Award for the movie ‘Chhodi Gaye Paap Lagla’ and the Best Director Award for ‘Ward No 6’ in 2016. 

My City’s Sonam Lama caught up with Ujwal Ghimire to talk about the setbacks and experiences in his professional journey.

What has been your major engagement these days?
Currently, I am occupied with the shooting of a commercial movie, ‘Kismaat 3’. Though I directed the first part of the movie, I missed part two due to my busy schedule. We have almost completed the shooting and the movie is set to release by November. I have also received an offer to direct an international movie in Nepali language in collaboration with US based independent filmmakers, Clear Mirror Pictures. I have already received the offer letter and we are undergoing negotiations. 

Has the scope of filmmaking changed over the decades?
Earlier films were made in celluloid. We had no option but to travel to Bombay for shootings, dubbing, recording, mixing and other technical supports. We used to wait for the reels to be brought from Kodak Japan. From reviews to editing, everything had to be done manually. There were many complexities to deal with while making a movie, but now everything has changed with digitization. I believe things have become more convenient. With moviemaking witnessing such advancements, the field definitely holds a bright future. However, Nepali films have yet to improve on presentation skills and narratives. 

What fundamental qualities do you believe a film director should possess?
I believe that a filmmaker’s intuition counts as a reward to powerful movie making. As a filmmaker, I reckon perceptivity, analytical observation and a rigorous study of the subject matter is something that enables directors to go beyond their vision and perception. Moreover, an artistic ability to build an emotional connection between the director and audience stands significant in filmmaking. 

Since you have been a part of the jury in the National Film Festival, what are the major factors that you consider while judging movies?
I was one of the jury members at the National Film Awards organized for the first time in 2005. One has to be focused and analytical toward the technicalities as well as presentation of a movie in order to make the right judgment. I firmly believe that a judge should be impartial and the judgment should encompass the entire dynamics of filmmaking. In the course of judging a movie, I weigh its quality in terms of execution of technical, creative and aesthetic elements.

How do you plan to contribute in developing filmmaking in the days to come? 
I pay more attention to making good movies rather than focusing on the numbers. One of my aspirations as an established director in the Nepali film industry is to be able to bridge the gap between international and national movies, which is evident as of now. Nepalis are bound to watch foreign movies for various reasons, while movies made in Nepal seldom attain international celebration. I have been making efforts to draw international audiences towards Nepali movies. I also look forward to promoting Nepali movies among the Nepali communities residing in various parts of the world via international premieres. 

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