Arts and Entertainment

A Nepali joint-production feature to compete at Berlinale

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 6, 2019-

The Red Phallus, a film jointly produced by Nepal, Bhutan and Germany, has been selected for the competitive section, Generation Fourteen Plus, at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. The film is directed by Bhutanese director Tashi Gyeltshen.

Ramkrishna Pokharel, one of the producers of the film, said that even though the film is not in Nepali and was not shot in the country, the co-production credit is significant for the country. “We have been trying to search for new possibilities in terms of subject, style and market, by collaborating with foreign filmmakers,” Pokharel told the Post. “For that matter, The Red Phallus will be meaningful for us.”

Along with Pokharel, the film is co-produced by directors Tashi Gyeltshen and Kristina Konrad.

The film revolves around one teen’s struggle for freedom. “We all live in one story but different realities. Or perhaps, we all live in one reality but different stories. And in between, there is just a mask,” reads the film’s logline on IMDb, where the film has been rated 6.9 out of ten based on nine user reviews. Starring Tshering Euden, Dorji Gyeltshen, and Singye, the film is in Dzongkha, Bhutan’s national language.

“The Red Phallus, as the title suggests, is not a mainstream commercial film. In essence, it is about the paradox of being a human. It is about how we kill each other and rape each other—and how, at the same time, in the same breath, we talk about attaining enlightenment,” director Gyeltshen says in a promo video for the film released on Vimeo. “How much do we know who we are? Who is this man behind the mask? Unfortunately at times, our mask becomes our identity. We live in the world that is obsessed with phallic symbols. In the film, the phallus, as a symbol, is grim reminder of the presence of violence underneath the silence—and stillness. The phallus is a symbol of male chauvinism and humanity’s decadence.”

At Berlin, this hour-and twenty-five minute-long drama will compete alongside 62 films from across the world.

The film had initially secured funding from two Open Door grants at the Locarno Film Festival in 2016.  And prior to the Berlinale, the film premiered at the Busan Film Festival in 2018, where it won the FIPRESCI award.

All of the technicians behind the film are from South Asia, Pokharel reported. The film was shot in Bhutan and edited in Nepal.

The 69th edition of the Berlin Film Festival will start February 7. The fest will go on for 10 days. French actress Juliettte Binoche will chair the International Jury.

Published: 06-02-2019 08:38

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment