The Four fascinating personalities contributing to the Nepali movie industry attended our third session of Youth Dialogue where we had a round table discussion with them on the topic: Prospects in Nepali movie industry. And the guest speakers were Binod Poudel (CEO at Oscar International College), Sushil Sitaula (Actor), Samipya Raj Timalsina (Writer and Sub-editor at Annapurna) and Archana Panthi (Theater Actor).The program was moderated by the Communication Officer at Glocal, Saru Pyakurel. The main discussion on the topic was possibilities in Nepali Movie Industry and Theatre industry, condition of movie industry and also concluded with the ways to develop the industry as a whole. Here are some highlights of the discussion.
- What drives you all to pursue this industry of Films, theater etc.?
Mr. Binod Poudel said the movie itself drived his passion towards movie industy because he used to watch lots of movies since he was a kid. That craze of movie was special and it was able to make his passion alive to work in movies. He also mentioned, after getting matured, he could understand what actually film is and he also saw various scope, elements and areas to discover in this industry. He mentioned he couldn’t find any better place than movies to explore, so he chose Nepali Movie Industry.
Mr. Samipya Raj also had a same experience. He used to watch movie and understand the stories. He remembered his young days, he used to visit movie halls quiet frequent and became habituated. While watching movie, he thought the script writing, dialogue part could be better and developed the feeling he can bring the change in writing and so he was drived towards writing field of the entertainment industry, which is really crucial in movie making process.
Mr. Sushil Sitaula explained he was really crazy about Hollywood movies and he would watch movies whole night and go college in drowsy condition. His connection with movies was really deep and the way acting is done, he wanted to explore. So his keen interest towards acting made him successful to step in the Nepali Movie Industry.
The theatre actress Ms. Archana had a different experience. She hardly watched dramas and plays before. She used to go theatre only when she was invited by her seniors. She accepts the fact her entry in Theatre was unintentional. And she was casted by her Drama School Teacher for a play called “Madhavi” which is her first experience as an actor in a play. And after doing that play, she didn’t stopped. Rather continued her jountry towards theatre doing many others plays and exploring herself even better.
- How do you explain the condition of Nepali movie industry and theater industry?
Mr. Binod mentioned that the condition of Nepali Movie Industry is not so good. However, looking back to past he said there were no other sources of entertainment before and people tend to watch movies in hall. And later those movies were highly influenced by Bollywood. Moreover, there are no proper platforms for the youth who want to work in this field. The less availability of audiences, lack of proper promotion skill, lack of modern technical equipment, lack of awareness of people etc. are some factors that makes Nepali Movie Industry miserable. However, But today there are many sources of entertainment and the Nepali audience have been increasing who love watching Nepali Movies.
Ms. Archana added the condition of Theater in the past was not great, they were even not aware that theatre existed. However, the situation has changed a bit. It’s because, Dramas have been to connect a lot of youths and they are attracted towards acting, which makes her feel dramas are also being expand. But Marketing for dramas are also not that great. There are no many schools that teach acting. However, better actors can be produced in acts and plays and the the number of audience to see dramas will hopefully increase.
- What is the relationship of Audience and Film/Theater acting?
Mr. Sushil said whenever he reads a script; he read it as an audience. He then works as an actor to fulfil the needs and demands of audience as he feels connected. He says Audience finds themselves “in the story” and helping the characters make decisions—rooting for them when they make the right decision and cringing when they don’t. They get emotionally involved and this is the power of movie.
Ms. Archana adds in the in the darkness of the theater, 95% of our sensory receptions are tuned into the movie’s visuals and sound and the audience gets attached mentally already. The audience of today’s times has evolved, they are more aware of the acts. We have an audience that is sophisticated with refined sensibility. Therefore, it is necessary for an actor to make a connection with his audience to keep them captivated.
- What things are to be considered while writing a script in Nepali Movies?
Mr. Samipya got Best Writer Award in National Film Award. As a writer, he believes good script writing really matters in any movies. He clarified that the writer of any movies writes a plot of story as per the Director and Produce’s guidance by which the story gets aggregated and gets a shape. However, there is gap between audience requisite and film makers deliver. This gap need to be fulfilled to make good collaboration.
- What in your view is important in film making process?
Mr. Binod says Director is important and comes first in the hierarchy in the film making process. Director is the one who leads team in a vision. In hierarchy, all the sectors are important. Film making is a collective act and amazingly creative team work. Every part has its own strength and weakness. Director is like a power house of the team. But the artists, technicians, writers, and producers everyone must be strong and it’s really important.
- How did you have your first break in Nepali Movie Industry?
Mr. Sushil shared his experience with us. He said he had keen interest in acting which eventually became his passion. He went India to pursue acting course and he returned back after he completed his course. He had collected experience of working in plays and dramas and then he wanted to face camera and he was waiting for a chance. The film maker Mr. Sunil Rawal was the one who gave chance to the young and new talent and the audition for Saayed 2 was happening.Sushil texted him saying he has learnt acting and wants to be in his movie. And Mr. Rawal called him and asked him to appear audition. He made it and was successfully selected as a side actor in a humorous role. He did really well and his first movie gave him recognition. He then got to work in other movies.
- What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
Mr. Binod explained that the Nepali Film industry has lots of challenges. He explained the background and origin of Nepali movie is highly influenced with bollywood intervention. This can bring the originality of Nepali movie in risk. Likewise, the audience, viewers cannot differentiate between realistic cinemas and documentary movies as well. He remembered an incient when a big personality misunderstood movie “Kalo Pothi” to be a documentary. So, we need to take Nepali movie far from the bollywood influence and appreciate the originality of Nepali movie. He said the audience appreciated his movie “Bulbul” and they asked him to make movie like such. He discovered the literacy level poor in the audience in terms of movies. He also stated there are lots of things to do and eventually Nepali movie industry will develop in the days to come. As a film maker, He had seen lots of challenges.
Mr. Samipya explains writing to be a really important framework. But he also has to encounter many challenges when comes to writing. A writer needs to write as per the subject given and also the guidance of the director. But there is no proper literacy level in the director due to which they fail to guide the writers properly. Due to this, it leads to confused writing and sometimes even mess. So, there should be good education and awareness between the film makers and audience both. Moreover, another challenge he identified is payment issue. Writers are not paid much. Because of that the passionate writers are also discouraged in this industry which is a biggest challenge.
Mr. Sushil has a different opinion. He doesn’t take acting as a challenge. He stated he is learning and continuously exploring this industry. His struggle begins on every single day and he enjoys his struggle because it’s what a human has to do till the end. He was quiet positive with his reply.
Ms. Archana added there are numerous challenges in theatre as well. Although theater is in expanding phase, there is no good schooling concept for the actors who wants to continue theatre as their career. They only have 3 month course which is not much effective. Likewise, another challenges that encounter is financial stability. Theatre doesn’t have secured career so the actors are compelled to leave their passion just because they cannot be financially established.
- Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful film maker?
Mr. Binod who is also the CEO of Oscar International College replied it is not merely necessary to go college, but the learnings are important. Either it is self-study or organized courses in college, Study is really necessary in film making. He suggested for making a good career in film industry, knowledge is really essential. He also reflected the old days when the assistant directors learnt direction skills from the director itself. Whatever ways of learning it is, the hunger of exploring this industry shouldn’t fade away. However, the society is developed as capitalist nowadays. The talent is measured in terms of certificate. And the artists and the film makers who has experience and organized course certificate are given priority.
- What should be done to develop this industry as a whole? What are the policies made in favor of movie industry?
Mr. Binod Poudel stated they are trying to make good policies in the favor of Nepali movie industry. Firstly, the problems are to be addressed from the grass root level. The plans and policies made should be executed in a proper manner because policy level has to be strong. The condition of film makers is pathetic because the film makers themselves needs to be involved in policy making. However, they are dedicated to bring the change in the movie industry. They are trying to bring policies for identification of creative youths, policies for creating platforms for the artists, policies for overall development of the industry.
Mr. Samipya adds the major hindrance towards development of movie industry is lack of audience. They also are going to address how to increase the audience, expert manpower’s etc. They are looking forward to the support from government for their investment in developing Kollywood because he said film making is really a good business if one knows how to strategically manage the business. He related this statement with the example of movie “Chhaka Panja” able to earn 16 crore. And the film makers must be experienced ones who can guide others well. So, by eradicating the short comings, this industry must be developed.
Ms. Archana said the government needs to give recognition for theatre as well. There should be proper planning, budget separation and policies that should be implemented. Theatre is the best way to represent real acting. So, Schooling and every other thing required should be provided through government’s support.
- Do you have any advice for young film makers, actors, and writers out there?
Mr. Binod suggested the young film makers, not to come just by imitating people or by wish. To be in this industry, it needs full dedication and inner hunger towards art. He said- “Self-study should be done. People should come out from comfort zone and see the progress of movie”. He also added-“Film making has good possibilities because it is just not confined in own country. Rather it is worldwide acceptable and knowledge about Movie making can also lead towards international recognition.
Mr. Samipya highlighted that the leadership quality develops working in a movie industry because it’s all about team work. Audience enjoys creative movies so he suggested film makers have to come out of comfort zone and make movies as per the audience’s wish. They should introduce movie with different taste. He also suggested audience to make habit of watching and appreciating Nepali Cinema. He also said the industry fraternity needs to be pressurized if Audience wants a different taste movie. So, both the film makers and the audience have a great contribution towards development of Nepali Movie Industry.
Mr. Sushil suggested new comers to approach the industry with strong inner interest to become an actor. It’s a difficult thing to sustain in this industry, needs to struggle a hard. So he suggested them to come with dedication and Money shouldn’t be a priority if you really want to become an actor.
Ms. Archana suggested the newcomers to be dedicated and hardworking in the work they do and passion they encompass. They should have great zeal of learning.