Entertainment

Nepal’s film industry going great guns

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Jul 12, 2018-Nepal’s movie industry is going great guns with audiences cramming cinema halls across the country. Digital rights, new generation storytellers, scenic shooting locations, accomplished actors and the use of modern technology are a few of the reasons behind the commercial success of Nepali movies, industry insiders said.

To name a few, movies like Loot, Chhakka Panja 1 and 2, Kohinoor and Satru Gate grossed more than Rs100 million each. Chhakka Panja, directed by Deepa Shree Niraula, was one of the blockbusters of 2016 which grossed Rs160 million. The movie cost Rs10 million to make.

According to Naresh Bhattarai, film journalist and lyricist, one of the reasons behind the box office success is the appropriate release date. Nepali movies are now released across the country on the same day. Previously, films were released on different dates which affected earnings. Worldwide release of Nepali movies has also boosted revenues, he said.

Similarly, movie producers are earning good money by selling the digital rights to online movie portals. Film makers receive Rs1.7 million to Rs10 million by selling the digital rights, he said.

Box office collection regulations will be launched on July 17. Nepali film producers are hopeful that the introduction of box office regulations will boost the industry by bringing transparency in ticket sales.

Film critic and journalist Prakash Subedi said that around 100 Nepali movies are released annually. Each movie costs around Rs10 million to make. According to industry experts, producers spend Rs1 billion annually.

Similarly, high ticket rates, especially in multiplexes, is another reason behind the boom in the Nepali film industry. Nepali movies are in high demand abroad where there are large Nepali expat populations.

Meanwhile, swelling revenues have allowed producers to spend more on promoting their productions. Bhattarai said that Nepali producers were forking out Rs1 million to Rs2.5 million per movie on promotion. According to industry experts, around 200 people are employed directly and indirectly while making a movie.

Similarly, actors’ salaries have increased along with the box office collections. Renowned stars get paid more than Rs4.5 million per movie. Lesser known actors get Rs2 million to Rs2.5 million, said one of industry expert.

“With the gradual improvement of the movie environment in the country, Nepali films can compete with international films as we have great directors, producers, actors and technology in the industry,” said Subedi. All movie related work is done here with the introduction of modern technology in the Nepali film industry, he added.

According to film distributor and producer Sunil Manandhar, 90 percent of the movies don’t break even. Only 10 percent of the films produced make money, and half of them make twice their production budget.

Film making technology has advanced, and the quality of movie theatres also needs to be upgraded, said Aakash Adhikari, director of the blockbuster Kohinoor. According to him, Nepali movies command 70 percent of the market. The rest of the film shown in Nepali cinemas are from Bollywood and Hollywood.  Nepali movies are getting good response from audiences, and they have been able to attract urban audiences too in recent years.

Some big earners

Movies     Investment    Gross Collection

Kohinoor    Rs9 million    Rs120 million

Chhakka Panja-2    Rs10.5 million    Rs150 million

Satru Gate    Rs20.5 million    Rs120million

Loot    Rs5 million    Rs25.2 million

Prem Geet    Rs10 million    Rs50 million

Lily Bily    Rs20.5 million    *Rs60 million

(*Still showing in theatres)

Published: 12-07-2018 08:48

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