KTM CockTale is a film that you have probably never heard of; and that’s because it doesn’t come from a big banner, doesn’t have any stars in its cast, and doesn’t even have a popular director. But the good thing is, all of those things don’t really matter; I mean, they do in terms of commercial success, but a good film doesn’t necessarily come from a big banner or popular stars. This film has proved that, to some extent, at least.
The ultra-low budget independent film – made with a budget of just Rs. 150,000 – was screened in the Queens World Film Festival, New York in 2017. But unfortunately, it never saw the light of day in Nepal as it never made it to the theaters. The film-makers did try, though. They did go to the film distributors but none of them were willing to release it. And after all these months of trying, they have had enough. They said, “Fuck theater release” (not making this up, it’s right in the description), and put the film on YouTube.
With Avon Raj Upreti, Sangeet Sapkota, Bikash Lamsal and Uddhav Bhattarai in the lead roles; the film is directed by Anuska Rauniyar. Rauniyar, who made his feature film debut with this one, had earlier made some short films like Paper Towel and Pagalpan Ko Sadharan Katha, along with an incomplete web-series called Once Upon A Time in Kalo Pul which got cancelled after three episodes. He studied Film Design at Symbiosis International University in Pune, India before he started making films.
KTM CockTale revolves around a small time drug dealer in Kathmandu who sells a local drug called cocktail. He has quite a fucked up family, consisting of an irresponsible father and a wild teenage brother, who are expert at fucking everything up. The actors have done justice to their characters, and we have to commend Avon Raj Upreti who is the soul of the entire film. He has done a fantastic job.
As the makers wanted the film to have its theater release, the film did go through the Censor Board and they gave it an A (adult) certificate. It doesn’t really have the kind of content that should earn it that certificate, though. Some swearing, just a little bit but that has become quite common in various Nepali films these days anyway. May be the people at the Censor Board thought A stands for awesome.
Now, this is not a flawless film. It could have been better, much better to be honest. But you have to appreciate what these young folks did – making a full length feature film with almost an ‘impossible’ budget and then just putting it out there on YouTube from their own channel which doesn’t even have 400 subscribers. That’s something.
Watch the film here.