Govt’s film policy favors foreigners, ignores domestic needs

Published On: May 12, 2019 07:59 AM NPT By: ANIL YADAV

KATHMANDU, May 12: After President Bidya Devi Bhandari presented the government’s policies and programs for Fiscal Year 2019/20 in parliament on May 4, it was found that the government’s policy for the country’s film industry is concerned only about foreign filmmakers. 

All that the government document this year says about films is “Required measures will be taken to set up a one-door system to provide all services that foreign filmmakers will need while shooting in Nepal. Necessary steps will be taken to attract more foreign filmmakers to Nepal.” There would be discussions on film city and film policy after the presentation of the government’s policies and programs in the previous years. However, this time around the film industry remains silent on the government’s policies. 

Most Nepali filmmakers were found to be alien to the subject of film policy in the government’s policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year. However, after they were told about the provision in the document, the filmmakers poured dissatisfaction over the government move. “The government does not seem to be paying any attention to the film sector. The release dates of our movies clash with those of the foreign movies, causing us loss. Yet the government remains mum,” said actor and filmmaker Deepak Raj Giri.

Giri claimed that the government remains negligent of the film sector as it has only been taken as a medium of entertainment. “Only the Dhaka topi and the Daura Suruwal do not reflect our culture; our films, too, do so,” he said, “The government should help to improve our film industry.”

The filmmakers had kept their hopes high that the government would do something to address their previous demand of endorsing the National Film Bill which was tabled in parliament years ago. The filmmakers had hoped that the government’s policies and programs would mention the implementation of the bill as a member of the task force which had drafted the bill, Keshav Bhattarai, was elected the president of the Film Development Board. 

“The government’s policies and programs show that the government has been trying to assist the Indian filmmakers through its recent moves,” said film director Manoj Pandit.

The shooting unit of the Bollywood movie ‘Baby’ had drawn controversy last year by shooting unauthorized clips at the Tribhuvan International Airport and allegedly not paying their Nepali assistance unit. The issue was resolved by the government after the Indian Embassy came into contact to discuss the controversy.

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