Almost a decade after Nepal made a mark in the international film arena, a debutant Nepali director hopes to create a stir at the Cannes Film Festival starting May 13.
Journalist-turned-filmmaker Dipak Rauniyar made a splash in December when his debut film Chaukath (Threshold) received rave reviews at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival.
Now Chaukath will be screened during the 12-day Cannes Film Festival in the non-competitive category in the short film section. It will be Nepal's first entry at Cannes.
The half-an-hour film, that was awarded the third prize by the jury, is about the status of women in Nepal's conservative Terai plains in the south where sons are preferred to daughters and women are expected to stay at home and devote themselves to housework.
Rauniyar, who worked as a journalist in Biratnagar town in east Nepal, came to Kathmandu in 2001. Chaukath revolves around two women from different backgrounds - a divorcee from the hills and a timid housewife who is not even called by her name but is known by the name of the village she hails from.
The film raises questions about the restoration of democracy in Nepal when women are still destined to live as the second sex.
Made on a budget of NRS 100,000, the film has been scripted by Rauniyar himself and Asha Magarati, who also plays one of the two central women characters.
Nepal made a mark at the Academy Awards with Caravan, the film made in mountainous north Nepal by European Eric Valli in the late 1990s, that received an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category.