Arts and Entertainment

Ghampani: An appeal for cultural harmony

- Timothy Aryal, Kathmandu

Apr 13, 2017-

In a country as culturally diverse as ours, films that explore relationships and dynamics between two different communities are still rare. Films centered around the formulaic rich-girl-meets-poor-boy might be a dime a dozen, but plots that explicitly use ethnic or communal differences as its primary driver not so much. Now debutant director Dipendra Lama will attempt to do so with Ghampani, which is slated to hit theatres this weekend. 

Lama, who began his career as a journalist and a critic of Nepali film, said that he decided to cut his teeth with a film exploring cultural differences as it was the need of the hour. “Cultural harmony is a pressing issue of today’s Nepal. It is also a delicate one. With the country slowly transforming and talks ongoing about demarcating the provinces, fissures in our cultural fabric have arisen. Ghampani is a romantic comedy that attempts to bring this issue to the fore.”

Speaking to the Post, director Lama said that besides being reflective of his outlook on the current cultural scenario, Ghampani is also personal. “I grew up in a Tamang family and the cutlures and traditions I inherited are quite different to that of someone from another community. These differences play a major role in our everyday life but we should accept, respect and celebrate these differences. And this is what I have tried to showcase in the film.” 

Involved in film writing for over decade, Lama says that the face of Nepali cinema is fast evolving. “I was a cineaste from childhood and looking back, Nepali films have come a long way, in terms of quality of the films and their originality. There was a time when more than eighty per cent of films would be copies from Bollywood films.

And actors, mostly, would be from a certain stereotype. Both of these have now changed for good. Thanks to internet and other technological inventions, Nepali directors have been exposed to films from many other cultures from around the world. The result of which is that nowadays, we can see that casts and plotlines have become more diverse.”

Lama admits that he doesn’t have high hopes with Ghampani, commerically, but he is certain about the themes he evokes with the film to strike a chord with the audience of these changing times. “Ghampani is a metaphor for two divergent cultures. In the end, the film appeals for cultural harmony and mutual co-existence, because that is the need of the hour,” he says. 

Ghampani stars actors Dayahang Rai, Keki Adhikari, Ankeet Khadka, and Buddhi Tamang, among others. The film is slated for all-Nepal release from Friday. 

Published: 13-04-2017 09:10

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