Not only the Philippine movie industry but also America’s movie industry is reeling from the slackening box office sales. The problem is not confined to piracy but also because of so many other reasons.
However, India’s Bollywood claims to be the most productive movie industry in the world. Seemingly not affected by the worldwide piracy problem, India’s movie industry is still producing more than 1,000 movies every year.
It can be remembered that Slumdog Millionaire was an international blockbuster and even went on to win 8 statuettes in the Oscar awards of 2009. The story was based on the novel of Vikas Swarup, an Indian author.
Following in the footsteps of Bollywood is neighboring Nepal. It’s capital Kathmandu is getting to be a bustling area of locally produced movies. The movie industry in Nepal is alive with the mainstream and indie movie productions.
In the Philippines, new movie producers come and go. After an inauspicious start, most producers shy away and go back to their previous business. But in Nepal, they are showing a different picture.
Having met Baburam Dahal, a youngish movie producer from Nepal, it is heartening to hear of his plans for the movie industry. That he will continue producing movies regardless of the outcome of his first movie venture.
Farkii Auu, which means Come Back, is a mixed genre of romance and drama with action as dictated by the war setting. Shot in the panoramic areas of Nepal, it is touted to gain prominence in the Kathmandu theaters.
As explained by Dahal, a big slice of the US$90,000 production budget went to the talent fees. With a top heavy cast, Farkii Aau is not just an indie movie but one that can be considered in the mainstream league.
Leading the cast is the debonair Rajesh Hamal. Schooled in Moscow, India, and Nepal (with an MA in English from Punjab University), he was
a fashion model before he entered the movies in 1994.
Playing the leading lady for Rajesh is Niruta Singh, Nepal’s number 1 actress with most of her movies becoming blockbusters. Born in India, Niruta moved to Nepal when she got into the movies in 1993.
Om Prateek, the bemoustached director also starred in the movie. Director Prateek had to go to the police headquarters to have real cops acting in the movie with their authentic policeman uniforms.
Rajesh, who was playing a police officer, was requested to cut his signature long hair which he had been sporting for 20 years and 250 movies. “Personally, I love long hair since my childhood,” confessed Rajesh.
The long hair issue was caused by the request of the police department in order to protect the clean image of their police force. It wouldn’t be realistic for a police officer to sport long hair in the case of Rajesh. Perhaps Lt. Col. Emmanuel Pacquiao of the Reserved Armed Forces can take a lesson from this.
To enhance the romanticism of the movie, some songs included were tailor-made for the movie. Sunakhari Ful Jasto Joban, which means “your heart is like the Sunakhari flower,” is composed by Baburam Dahal, the executive producer.
Another song in the movie is Malale Malai Kina which means “why did your love break my heart.” For the nationalism part, there was the song Ko Bhulana Sakacha which means “we can’t forget our native land.”
Aside from acting in the movie, Director Prateek also contributed in the theme song by writing some of the lyrics. The recording of the songs was one of the reasons why the production took 1 year and 9 months.
Farkii Aau executive producer Baburam Dahal posing with the author during a seminar in Singapore
Aside from Rajesh and Niruta, also appearing in Farkii Aau were Ganesh Upreti and Sonya KC, one of the leading actresses in Nepal. The producer himself, Ram Poudel, also played a role in the movie.
Others who contributed to the filming were Raju Bikram Thapa who handled the cinematography while Basanta Shrestha did the intricate choreography. Stunt director was Roshan Shreshtha.
Providing the music and sound was Alok Shree. Surendra Poudel took care of the editing while Madhav Pandit was the production manager.
Produced by Ram Paudel and Baburam Dahal, Farkii Aau is distributed by Shree Balaji Films P.Ltd. and Shree Krishna Films. It was shown in Kathmandu in late November 2011.
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