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Maoists ready to exploit cinema?

Two reports have emerged out of Nepal in the last month, both filed by the news agency Indo Asian News Service.

‘Maoists ready to capture Nepal’s cinemas’ Feb 14. According to this report:

“There is a rush to make films on the underground movement and the consequences for Nepal’s society… At least six films have been shot… “

The films are:

  • People’s War (Dir: Bimal Poudel)
  • Aago (Dir: Narayan Puri)
  • Alpo-Biram (Dir: Puri)
  • Naya Nepal (Dir: Kishore Dhakal)
  • Aawaz (Dir: Badri Adhikari)
  • Lal Salaam (Dir: Shivaji Lamichhane)

The other report refers to the relaxation in censorship.

‘Nepal cinema now breathes free of censors’ Feb 1. The report mostly builds its case around director Narayan Puri’s film Aago and its resurrection under the new regime.

Nepali film director Narayan Puri, who was the first in Nepal’s film industry to dare make a film on the Maoist movement when the guerrillas were banned as terrorists and paid for the defiance by having censors hack his film ruthlessly, has been revived by the winds of change blowing in since then.

After the completion of “Alpo-Biram” last year, Puri is now re-making “Aago”, restoring the scenes deleted by the censors… “The censor board never returned the deleted scenes to me,” says Puri. “When I asked to have them back, I was told they were lost. If the negatives had been intact, I could have simply added them to the film. But now, I have to shoot them again.”

It remains to be seen how long this romance between the new filmmakers and audiences will last. Will Bollywood strike back?

The Nepal Film Producers Association website is here.

There is a good collection of news reports on Nepalese cinema here

Cinema Phulchoki is a Nepalese film production company.

Jai Nepal is a major exhibition player in Nepal.

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