Feature: Nepali movie industry struggles under shadow of BollywoodSouce:Xinhua Publish By Gloria C. Gonzales Updated 13/12/2012 8:57 pm in Entertainment / 2 comments
By Rajneesh Bhandari
KATHMANDU, Dec. 12 — Sabina Upreti, 21, has been watching the latest Bollywood flicks instead of the Nepali movies released in the nearest cinemas in the capital.
“Hollywood inspires Bollywood and Bollywood is inspired by Hollywood, so I am not fond of watching Nepali movies since they are not entertaining enough,” said Upreti.
Speaking to Xinhua at the closing ceremony of Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) 2012 on Tuesday Basanta Thapa agreed with what Upreti had said.
“I personally feel that they are under the shadow of Bollywood films. They act and behave like photocopies of Bollywood films,” Thapa said. “I believe a filmmaker who wants to be serious in film-making should come out of the shadow of Bollywood and try to think independently.”
Upreti is one among many Nepali youths who is fond of watching Bollywood movies, saying that Nepali movies lack creativity although most are inspired by Indian movies.
Manoj Pandit, director of upcoming film “Badhsala” that is going to be released on March 8, 2013, said that at the moment Nepali films are struggling to create their own identity and originality.
“The latest trend in making movies shows that we are trying to create our own identity and these films are based in the culture,” Pandit told Xinhua, adding that he is sure that things will become better in future.
Yangesh, a Nepali film critic, identified two reasons why there is Bollywood influence over Nepali movies.
First, he said, earlier filmmakers actually learnt the technique of film making from India and since Bollywood was a school of film making for them it was obvious to get influenced.
Another reason, according to him, is that they implemented the style they learnt in Bollywood and unfortunately they never made changes over the period of time.
“It’s not only the filmmakers that Bollywood has influenced but the audience as well,” Yangesh said.
Nearly 100 films are released every year in Nepal, including short films and low-budget movies. But most of them fail to make an impact on the audience and some are even criticized for being just copies or imitations of Indian films.
However, new Nepali movies that were released recently such as “Loot,” an action film, have tried to break the stereotype of the local films. “Loot,” released in January, was appreciated for its storyline, natural dialogues and superb cinematography.
When asked whether there is a sure-fire formula that Nepali filmmakers could adopt in order to produce quality movies that Nepalis would love to watch, Yangesh replied that there is none.
But Yangesh said that local filmmakers should be more creative in their craft and not just copy from Indian filmmakers. “They should portray the local customs and should strive to communicate the Nepali essence in a simple way,” he added.
Yangesh said that through the Internet, the new media, new magazines and other media forms, Nepali filmmakers could adopt different styles that would suit to the emotion and temperament of the Nepali people. “And that is why some few local firms are now successful,” he said.
“If the taste of a filmmaker matches that of the audience, Nepali film industry can go a long way,” said Yangesh.
Upreti has so far watched only seven Nepali movies but she said she would love to watch more if they are interesting.
“If interesting and creative Nepali movies are released, I will definitely watch them,” Upreti said. “But they should be original.”