The 89th Academy Awards (Oscars) that will honor the best films of 2016 will take place on February 26th at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Nepal had submitted Min Bahadur Bham’s ‘Kalo Pothi/The Black Hen’ for the Best Foreign Language Film category but it is out of the race now.
Now, that’s something a lot of people often get mistaken about. ‘Kalo Pothi’ was a ‘submission’ for Oscars, not a ‘nomination’. There’s a huge difference. Almost around 100 films from around the world are ‘submitted’ every year for the Best Foreign Language Film category but only five of them selected by the jury get ‘nominated’ for the Oscars. Quite a number of Nepali films have been submitted over the years but only one film has so far has been nominated. Here’s the list with all the details.
‘Caravan’ (‘Himalaya’ in Nepali) was the first ever film to submitted for Oscars from Nepal. The film that was submitted at the 72nd Academy Awards in 1999 is the only Nepali film so far to have been nominated for the award. The film produced by Christophe Barratier and Jacques Perrin was directed by Eric Valli.
2. Mask of Desire
Next year, in 2000, Tsering Rhitar Sherpa’s ‘Mask of Desire’ (‘Mukundo’ in Nepali) was submitted at the 73rd Academy Awards. Even though the film was not nominated for the Oscars, it had been internationally acclaimed and had been screened at various international film festivals around the world including San Fransisco, Vancouver, Goteborg, Fribourg, Fukuoka and Mumbai.
3. Muna Madan
Adapted from Mahakavi Laxmi Prasad Devkota’s poetry of the same name, Muna Madan was Nepal’s submission for the 76th Academy Awards in 2003. The film directed by Gyanendra Deuja had Ramchandra Adhikari, Subhadra Ahikari, Usha Poudel and Dinesh DC in the lead roles.
Directed by Subash Gajurel, ‘Basain’ was Nepal’s official entry for the 79th Academy Awards in 2006. The film starring Mukunda Bastakoti, Dinesh D.C., Ranju Lamichhane, Uttam Pradhan and Mithila Sharma was produced by Harihar Aryal, Tirtha Basnet, Subash Gajurel and Sudhir Poudel.
5. Soongava: Dance of the Orchids
After quite a long gap of seven years, ‘Soongava: Dance of the Orchids’ was Nepal’s submission at the 86th Academy Awards in 2013. The film written and directed by Subarna Thapa had Deeya Maskey, Nisha Adhikari and Saugat Malla in the lead roles. It was the first Nepali film to be based on the lives of two homosexual women.
At the 87th Academy Awards in 2014, Nepal submitted ‘Jhola’. The film based on the story by Krishna Dharabasi about the Sati culture was directed by Yadav Kumar Bhattarai. Garima Panta who played the lead role had bagged Best Actress award at SAARC Film Festival in Sri Lanka in 2014. The film also had Desh Bhakta Khanal, Sujal Nepal, Laxmi Giri and Deepak Chhetri in the supporting roles.
7. Talakjung vs Tulke
Nischal Basnet’s directorial film ‘Talakjung vs Tulke’ was Nepal’s entry at the 88th Academy Awards in 2015. The film starring Khagendra Lamichhane, Shushank Mainali, Dayahang Rai and Reecha Sharma in the lead roles had released in Nepal on October 31, 2014 and had proved to be successful at the box office.
8. Kalo Pothi
The Black Hen (‘Kalo Pothi’ in Nepali) was the latest entry from Nepal at the 89th Academy Awards. The film directed by Min Bahadur Bham stars Khadka Raj Nepali, Sukraj Rokaya, Jit Bahadur Malla, Benisha Hamal and Bipin Karki. It was the first ever Nepali film to be screened at the Venice Film Festival.
These are all the films that have been submitted from Nepal at the Oscars so far and hopefully, someday a Nepali film will bring home the most prestigious film award in the world.