The new year’s day is going to bring a beautiful treat for the cinema lovers as Kathaa is scheduled for its online release on first of January.
Earlier this year in September, Priyanka Chopra claimed her Sikkimese film ‘Pahuna’ to be the “first film ever that’s come out of that region” during an interview at Toronto International Film Festival; but is that really true?
Though the Sikkimese cinema is not as popular as the other regional film industries in India; there have been quite a few films that did succeed in leaving some mark – Kathaa was one of them.
“Sikkim’s first feature was ‘Romeo in Sikkim’ by Mr. Shyam Pradhan, which came out in mid-seventies. ‘Kathaa’, however, can be called the first Sikkimese film that made it to wider audience and prestigious film festivals”, director Prashant Rasaily told NeoStuffs.
The Nepali-language film starring Saugat Malla, Usha Rajak and Timothy Rai is written and directed by Rasaily who also wrote ‘Kagbeni’, and directed ‘Acharya’ and ‘Soul Sister’, among others. The film that had its world premiere in Mumbai International Film Festival on October 21, 2012 was screened in various international film festivals across India, including IFFI Goa, Bengaluru International Film Festival and Arunachal Pradesh NEFF. The film was released in select theaters in Kathmandu as well.
“Kathaa has many layers of kathaa (stories). The stories behind the scenes can be more heart wrenching than the scenes on screen”, said Rasaily. “I spent over five years living it [the film]. While making it didn’t take much time, but what followed did. The Sikkim premiere date of the film; which was scheduled in Gangtok on February 7, 2013; clashed with my only brother’s funeral, who also was a part of the team and had a major role in the story”, he added.
“Kathaa turned Prashant Rasaily into Shaant [the pseudonym he uses, mostly in the music videos directed by him] forever.”
Dreamstream Entertainment, the banner the film was produced under, had held a two-week film-making workshop in Gnathang in East Sikkim, near the Indo-China border with the intention to live among the villagers and make a film that did justice to the place. Ant that’s how the film was made. Apart from the three lead actors – Saugat, Usha and Timothy – the rest of the cast consists of locals from the village. The film was entirely shot using the flashlights.
Kathaa tells the love story of Kanchha (Saugat Malla), a gothala (yak herder) and Kumari (Usha Rajak), a girl who cannot speak. The film will be released by Sikkim Tube on YouTube.