British (And Other Foreign) Film Festival in Kathmandu

Kathmandu sees many foreign language film festivals, not just Bollywood and Hollywood flicks.

One after another, it’s now time for British Film Festival in Kathmandu. The sixth edition of the yearly event was inaugurated by the British Ambassador Andrew Hall yesterday evening in Gopi Krishna Cinema Hall. Over the past several years, we have seen many language-based film festivals that are organized either by the foreign embassies in Kathmandu or non governmental organizations that have gotten some kind of assistance from those missions. Those festivals are primarily targeted to the learners of the related language. “Our main target audiences are young learners, students and young professionals along with a wide range of senior officials,” states a press release issued by the British Council, the organizer of the British film festival in Nepal. The festival will go to Pokhara at the end of this month.

I was talking about the waves of foreign film festivals in Nepal. I recently attended French film festival and, before that, Spanish film festival. Kathmandu also sees Chinese film festival. The market here in Nepal is overwhelmingly dominated by Bollywood (Hindi) and Hollywood films. Films from these two groups are so much popular that people stand in queue to get tickets for the shows. With that craze in background, some people might think Nepal doesn’t see Indian film festival and American film festival. That would be wrong. Even Indian embassy and American mission do organize Indian film festival and American Film festival. We can see alternate films from those big industries. Indian embassy organized a traveling film festival last year, I think, screening old films while American Center organized a month-long screening of many rarely heard American films several months ago in Kathmandu. Theaters in Kathmandu.

These festivals are definitely useful for the young crowd in Kathmandu who will get opportunity to explore into different cinematic worlds that are not available in mainstream film market in Nepal. For instance, I couldn’t have seen a film like Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noël, photo) in any theater in Kathmandu if there was no British film festival organized. I enjoyed the oscar nominated anti-war moive on the inauguration day of the festival yesterday as I was there to report the event. The British Council press release further states, “We feel that film festival is an extremely effective way of enabling large numbers of predominantly young, educated people to widen their views of the world and, in this case, provide them with vivid impressions of modern Britain.”

If anyone is reading this and is interested in attending the festival (which is free of cost), feel free to visit the Council reception in Lainchaur to collect the ticket. Because I am a reporter, I already got a few from the Council.