By Aashish Mishra, Kathmandu, Feb. 13: Nepal International Film Festival (NIFF) 2020 kicked off on Thursday amidst a ceremony organised at Rastriya Sabha Griha, Kathmandu.
The third edition of the film festival was inaugurated by Hon. Agni Prasad Sapkota, speaker of the House of Representatives, who thanked the organisers and welcomed all the guests. “These festivals help us learn from other cultures and enrich ourselves,” he stated. He also shared his expectation that the films screened during the festival would invite lively interactions and contribute to our artistic field.
Speaker Sapkota also called the festival very meaningful in the context of the ongoing Visit Nepal Year 2020 and asked the foreign guests attending the festival to share the beauty of Nepal with their friends and family back home.
Also speaking at the opening program, Mahendra Sankhi, member secretary of the Film Development Board (FDB), expressed FDB’s commitment to participating in such domestic and international film festivals and supporting them in any way it can. He also shared that the board was celebrating Nepal Shooting Destination Year 2020 and informed of the various activities it was undertaking for this.
“We have already launched a book titled Filming in Nepal where we have highlighted all the great shooting locations and have written about the shooting procedures and permits,” he said adding, “We are also working on setting up a one-door mechanism to handle all the aspects related to producing domestic and international films in Nepal.” He stated that the board was doing everything in its ability to establish Nepal’s image as a filming-friendly nation.
Aside from Sapkota and Sankhi, many senior personalities from the Nepali film industry like Nir Shah and esteemed international filmmakers like Prakash Jha (India), Larry Kasanoff (USA) and Anomaa Rajakaruna (Sri Lanka) along with various other well-renowned individuals active in various areas of filmmaking from across the world were present at the event.
The five-day festival is being organised by Nepal Film and Cultural Academy. A total of 80 films from 40 different countries will be screened during the festival across three venues, namely, Rastriya Sabha Griha, Nepal Tourism Board and Sarwanam Theatre. Apart from films, various discourse sessions, interactions, workshops and masterclasses are also part of the festival.
According to Rashik Pathak, head of marketing and promotion of NIFF, the festival is a celebration of narratives where the organisers hope to bring Nepali films in front of a global audience as well as international films in front of the Nepali audience. “We hope this will foster a healthy exchange of ideas and will enable the filmmakers to learn from each other’s’ best practices,” he said.
The film festival started in 2018 and has been held every year since.