Ballot box and the box office

  • Moviemakers scramble to postpone releases as election fever continues
- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 19, 2017-With three provinces in the country gripped by election fever, and preparations underway to hold the second phase of elections in the remaining provinces, ticket sales at movie theatres have taken a significant hit. Last week, it emerged that the Indian blockbuster Baahubali, which had shattered Nepali box office records—amassing Rs 130 million in its opening week—had slumped to a relatively partly collection of Rs 50 million in its second week because of the local level elections. Now, it seems moviemakers are scrambling to push back the release of movies to avoid the same fate. 

On Wednesday, director Prakash Angdembe announced that his latest movie, Desh Khojdai Jaanda—a feature which seeks to bring on screen the struggle of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal—will not be released on May 26, as initially planned. 

“Because the film is based on an issue that demands widespread attention and now that every one busy counting votes, we have decided that this would not be the right time to release the film,” said director Angdembe. “We will soon announce the release date.” 

“The film is based on the real story of Bhutanese refugees residing in different parts of Nepal for decades,” he added. “This movie is the product of a five-year research. In doing so, we came across many heartening stories of the Bhutanese refugees, their culture, family lives and the perennial fear they live in. We have tried to tell those stories, as honestly as we could.”

Angdembe has been associated with several Bhutanese refugee camps and was a facilitator of a workshop on theatre, journalism, photography, and creative writing, conducted by Youth Friendly Centre, Caritas Nepal. His previous work includes several theatre directorials in the likes of Anyaya ko Antya, Aamako Sapana, Garib ko Dasha and Berang Rangharu. 

Desh Khojdai Jaanda, Angdembe’s debut feature, was originally written by himself; while the screenplay has been written by author Upendra Subba. The film features actors Hemanta Budhathoki, Babu Bogati, Meena Koirala, and Aruna Karki, among others. 

Similarly, Nitin Chand-directorial Johnny Gentleman, previously slated for release on June 2, has also postponed its release date until further notice. According to Bishnu Poudel of Moveimandu, an entertainment website, the elections have taken its toll on movie shooting schedules as well. 

Published: 19-05-2017 09:06

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