Film actor and producer Keshav Bhattarai has been appointed the new chief of the Nepal government’s film authority body, Film Development Board (FDB). The board chairman Neikita Poudel had recently resigned from the post over her controversial marriage with Rabi Lamichane. The minister wasn’t happy with Poudel, who was appointed by the previous Nepali Congress government. The government had removed Nekita from the post but, the Supreme Court had reinstalled her in the post against the will of the government.
After Neikita married Rabi Lamichhane, minister Gokul Baskota, was highly critical of Poudel. He had also asked his officials to start the process of her removal from the post. He finally resigned herself. Nekita’s marriage is considered to be the main reason behind resignation. Nekita had told that she would work in the social works started by Rabi Lamichhane including the construction of a hospital, Raskot Hospital, in remote location. Rabi’s divorce prior to the marriage also created a lot of headlines in the Nepali media. I had also prepared a video report on the issue.
The cabinet meeting held on Thursday, March 20, 2019, had appointed Keshav Bhattarai as the new chairman of FDB.
After Neikita resigned, a number of hopefuls including director Suchitra KC, Naresh Kumar KC and Yogesh Ghimire had submitted their interest to the post.
A tussle between the government and a political appointee of the previous government has ended after she couldn’t sustain the pressure. I guess, it wasn’t a pleasant experience working with a minister who had actually removed you from the post previously. The minister of information and technology, Gokul Baskota wasn’t a fan of the chairman of Film Development Board. The daughter of a film maker Uddav Poudel, Nekita Poudel, had managed to get appointed to the post at the time when the Sher Bahadur Deuba government was paving way for KP Oli to take over. The appointment was against the warning of KP Oli. Keeping his promise, KP had removed Poudel from the post. But, the Supreme Court had reinstalled her to the seat.
Now, when the minister had ordered his subordinate to start the procedure of her removal from the post, Nekita has resigned from the post.
Right after the election results were started to indicate that the Nepali Congress has lost the election, the prime ministers, Sher Bahadur Deuba, made some controversial decisions like appointing the Film Development Board (FDB) chief. The newly appointed chief, Nikita Poudel, is the daughter of Uddav Poudel, the owner of Gopi Krishna theatre and film producer. After the news of the appointment of Poudel, the president of the Film Directors Association, Suchitra Shrestha, wrote that Nikita had paid Rs. 5 million to the Minister of Information to get the appointment. She wrote, “When one appointment cost 50,00,000 (50 Lakh) how can Congress win…”
The decision to appoint Nikita was made on the cabinet meeting held on December 11, 2017. In the meeting the minister of Information Mohan Basnet had proposed Nikita Poudel for the post. The proposal was approved by the meeting. Apart from being a businessman, Nikita’s father is also the secretary of Kamal Thapa’s Rastriya Prajatantra Party. Kamal Thapa is one of the Deputy Prime Minister in the current government. Thapa had also lost in the election in Makwanpur.
I am pretty sure, the story of Archana Paneru, her debut movie ‘Jism’ and the role of Film Development Board (FDB) and FDB Chief Raj Kumar Rai is much more interesting than the film itself.
The story goes like:
A controversial director, Raju Giri, met a much more controversial girl Archana Paneru. Giri and his team prepared a story around Archana and borrowed the name of the movie Bollywood actress Sunny Leone debuted in Bollywood with. Sunny debuted in ‘Jism 2’ and Archana is all set to debut in ‘Jism’. The script and the details of the movie was submitted to the government agency FDB for approval.
The news was shocking to many film industry insiders. At the same time, the hype of Archan was too good to ignore. Archana was invited to a meeting by some producers and directors. Right after the meeting, Archana named the producers who had asked for anonymity. Some named the incident, “playing with dirt,” it was bound to get you dirty.
On the request of the Film Development Board (FDB), the police in Pokhara has arrested the entire shooting crew of upcoming controversial movie, ‘Jism’. Talking to an online media, FDB chief, Rajkumar Rai has confirmed that the arrest was made after the request of the Board. Watch a video report on the incident:
Why was ‘Jism’ unit arrested?
According to Rajkumar Rai (FDB chair):
- ‘Jism’ script wasn’t approved by the FDB. The Board members were still discussing on the whether the movie should be approved.
- Rai says, Giri was arrested because he didn’t listen to the board. Rai had told that he had called Giri and asked him to stop the shooting but, he didn’t comply to his order.
- The Board is discussing if Archana Paneru should be allowed to be featured as an actress in Nepali movie.
According to Raju Giri (‘Jism’ director):
- Raju Giri and the film production team had submitted the script of the movie to the Film Development Board on 20th. He had also paid all the dues to the FDB for the script registration.
- When he the script wasn’t approved till the 23rd, the film production team had gone to Pokhara to commence the shooting.
- Raju Giri claims that the story of the movie is very good and there is no reason FDB should not approve it.
According to Archana Paneru:
Actress and model Reema Bishowkarma and her newly wed husband Robert Bishwokarma have donated the fund they had set aside for the honeymoon trip to the Film Artists Welfare Fund of Film Development Board (FDB). Reema and Robert handed over the fund to actress Jharana Thapa, the coordinator of the Film Welfare Fund, in an event in Kathmandu.
Reema and Robert were planning to go to Maldives or Paris for honeymoon. As the honeymoon plan was canceled for now, they decided to donate the amount for good cause. Jharana was recently appointed to coordinate the social wing of FDB. In the fund handing over ceremony, Reema’s husband Robert was also with her.
The film award organized by the government, National Award is going to be held on July 28 at the residence of the president, Ram Baran Yadav. The award ceremony being organized by the Film Development Board (FDB) will award National Film Awards in eight different categories plus a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award value of Lifetime Achievement Award will be Rs. 351,111 and a trophy. Other awards will be awarded to the best film, best director, best actor (male), best actor (female), cinematographer, editor and best ethinic film.
Film Development Board (FDB) has decided to halt all the shooting and screening of Nepali movies for 15 days in the wake of Earthquake of April 25. The decision was made in a meeting held in Kathmandu on April 30. In the press release, there is no indication of when the 15-days count starts. The meeting was held in the coordination of FDB member Suresh Darpan Pokharel.
FDB has also formed a working committee in the coordination of Pokharel to volunteer in social awareness and distribution of basic needs to the victims. The program is being organized in co-ordination with the Health Ministry and World Health Organization (WHO). We had written the details of the preparation for the volunteer work previously.
The Censor Board of Nepal has been criticized for censoring movies unnecessarily. The Minister of Information and Communication, Dr. Minendra Rijal has added three new members in the board. Three new members include the CEO of film distributor, Darshana Arts and director Suresh Darpan Pokharel, actress Melina Manandhar and Bimal Sangraula.
All three new members are the member of Nepali Congress party. By the politics involved, the decision seems to be influenced by the political affiliation rather than making the Board effective.
We have seen a trend of inserting different scenes and dialogues from the actual movie itself. To make sure that the scenes and dialogues meet the Censor Board requirements, the Board is mulling over the new rules and regulations.
Although we believe, the trailers should be ranked and given a category so that the broadcasters could know if they fit in their targeted audience or not – censoring them is not a solution.
FDB chief Umakanat Parajuli has told that the trailers released before the censor clearance of the movies have created a challenge and credibility of the Board. He is planning to discuss the issue in the Board and tell trailer broadcasting Televisions about the new requirement.
In the budget announced on Sunday, the finance minister has announced the government plan to build a film city of international standard in Dolkha. While reading the budget, finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala told that the government will initiate the construction of the film city in the current fiscal year.
Correction – The award is organized by Nepal Film Development Company (NFDC), not by FDB as mentioned below. Sorry for the mistake.
*** previous post follows ***
The nomination for the national Films Awards 2070 organized by the NFDC is announced. Following are the nomination for the awards in 15 different categories.
Hira Best movie nomination :
- Ke Ma Timro Sathi Banna Sakchhu
- Kina Lagchha Maya
- Malatiko Bhatti
Best director nomination:
The government has agreed to the 8-points demands of the protesting artists. In a meeting held a the ministry with the secretary and Dharmendra Marbaita (Pappu) the two parties had reached to the agreement.
The government has given word to comply with the 8-points demands of the protesting artists. In return, the protesting artists will allow Pappu to let him work in FDB.
The hunger strike is going to end today after signing the agreement.
The rely-hunger strike of film artists has ended on the 12th day of it’s start. In the mean time, the government has ignored the protesting artists and has unilaterally appointed the chief of Film Development Board. Today, at 11:00 AM a press meet was organized to start a hunger strike toll death to create more pressure to the government.
The participating artists in the hunger strike include Bimal Poudel, Agraj KC, Surya Regmi, Neela Basnet, Mukesh Dhakal and Ananta Timilsina.
The government has selected Dharmendra Kumar Marbaita, popularly known as ‘Pappu’, to head the government body to look after Nepali movies, Film Development Board (FDB). Rekha Thapa was considered one of the contestant to the post before she headed for the USA on January 23.