What’s the National Film Awards vs ‘Prakash’ Beef?

Quite a lot of drama is going on around this year’s National Film Awards. Here’s what it’s all about.

Just gonna give you a TL;DR right at the beginning: National Film Awards was like, “F*** it! We ain’t giving no Best Film award this year”, and the team of ‘Prakash’ was like, “Why, though?” and they’ve got the court involved and stuff.

For any film related award events, the Best Film category is among the most important ones — alongside Best Actor and Best Actress awards. But something strange happened this year when the winners were awarded the National Film Awards 2080 last month in August at Shital Niwas — when there was no winner announced in the Best Film category.

Among quite a number of Nepali cinema related awards that take place every year, the National Film Awards are considered to be more valuable and prominent in the film fraternity as it’s a state-organized event by the Film Development Board. You can also tell it’s more credible than the others as Anmol KC hasn’t gone one yet.

I am not gonna put a lot of effort into it, so just pretend that I have used that old GOT meme template here and it reads, “National Film Awards kind of forgot they needed to give away the Best Film Award too.”

So yeah, that happened. For the first time in the history of these awards, there was no Best Film award. Apparently, it was ‘Prakash’ that was selected by the jury for the award but as the film doesn’t show the Maoist insurgency in good light, the award just got disappeared. Interestingly, Dinesh Raut won the Best Director and Deeya Maskey was given the Best Female Actor award — both for the same film.

The team of ‘Prakash’ was not having it, and they recently took it to the High Court (Patan) against the Film Development Board. As per the writer, Bikash Subedi, the writ petition is not filed because their film didn’t get the award, it’s because their was no award in that category at all. Fair enough! The court has ordered an explanation from the respondents concerned.

‘Prakash’ was released last year in August of 2022. The film shot in Jumla starred Pradeep Khadka, Deeya Maskey and Renu Yogi in pivotal roles. It has a whopping 8.8 rating on IMDB.

I totally think what they did was not cool at all. Nepali cinema is struggling and it’s a big thing that film-makers are still trying and actually making films — when not even 10% of Nepali films are able to recover the cost, forget about the profit. It’s a good thing to show them some kind of appreciation — and of course, an award would be nice; and those who deserve it totally need to get it. So yeah, it would be great if they keep politics away from art.

Good luck, you guys!


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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