‘Every film we do is a reflection of our individual stories’


Given that the release of their very first short film, The Infectious of Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite, in 2013, Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have actually been on a creative roll. For many years, they have swiftly moved from television to marketing to music. Their present medium of expression is cinema. Currently dealing with their […]

Given that the release of their very first short film, The Infectious of Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite, in 2013, Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have actually been on a creative roll. For many years, they have swiftly moved from television to marketing to music. Their present medium of expression is cinema.

Currently dealing with their very first feature film, The entire Timers, which was chosen at L’Atelier de la Cinéfondation at 2016’s Cannes Film Celebration and developed within the Jerusalem International Movie Lab, the duo have been frequently evaluating their work at prominent celebrations like Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Busan and others.

Their 2nd film, Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha, grabbed the unique jury award for cinematography at the 2017 Sundance Movie Festival. Their recent short movie, The Big-Headed Kid: Shamans and Samurai, is likewise being evaluated at the International Amsterdam Documentary Movie Festival, which is going to be held from November 16.

In an interview with the Post’s Ankit Khadgi, the imaginative duo discuss their cinematic journey, their creative procedure, future tasks and why they like to keep away from the limelight, even after attaining so much in their filmmaking careers. Excerpts:

The 2 of you have actually become part of films for years now. How has the overall experience been like?

Bibhusan: We have been working together for the past 10 years. Our overall journey has actually been filled with struggles, as it always has actually been a hurdle to get funds for our tasks due to which there have actually been hard and stressful times too. Sometimes, we wonder about how we have actually been able to financially sustain ourselves and develop cinema all these years.

Pooja: Yes, every task has actually been an experience filled with battles. Whenever we work on a new task, it feels like we once again have to deal with another difficult task. To be honest, these struggles have been discovering lessons for us, as we believe that if we didn’t endure these battles, we wouldn’t have that hunger to make films and express what we desire to.

You people mostly work as a group and co-direct. How challenging is co-directing and how do you try to be on the very same page so the vision of a motion picture won’t get impacted?

Pooja: Truthfully, for us, co-directing has actually been really valuable and we don’t find it challenging at all. For any duo, if they want balance, there must be a fulcrum that keeps the equilibrium For us, it’s motion pictures. That’s why even prior to we go to area for shooting or we start composing, we talk about a lot in advance.

I feel that co-directing has rather assisted us, as we complement each other. However, the method others view our collaborative effort is something that I discover awkward. It likewise makes me mad. Often, I am seen less as a filmmaker or a ‘female’ filmmaker’, even when I have been equally associated with the film.

Bibhusan: There’s no lying that disputes do develop when you operate in a team. But we fix it by interacting in every element, whether it be writing scripts, establishing storyboards, and even having discussions with our team. We mainly write by offering area to each other’s vision. When I begin writing, I write non-stop. She does the same. Yes, issues do develop when we compose taking motivation from our specific experiences, which may be various from each other. However, we do think a lot about whether our creativity or ideas serve the purpose in the writing and if the other person can link to it.

All of your past projects were evaluated, with some even bagging awards, at many movie celebrations. How has that assisted shape your craft?

Bibhusan: All of our experiences have been handy and eye-opening, as we got to witness some incredible and speculative cinema that we usually were uninformed of or had no access to.

We really found producers for our movies through the celebrations only, as we got to satisfy so many skilled people there, working to make movies.

Pooja: Attending movie celebrations has actually been a great way of experiencing mind-blowing movies that made us understand the power of story-telling. You get to meet terrific individuals and your horizon and worldviews get expanded.

We truthfully live in a bubble, and there are times when we need to come out of it. For filmmakers, movie festivals are such events, as it assists us to be modest and remain protected.

Can you briefly inform us about what your approaching The entire Timers is about?

Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet behind the scenes of The Whole Timers, their very first function film which was selected at L’Atelier de la Cinéfondation at 2016’s Cannes Film Festival. The director-writer duo is presently working on the movie. Image Courtesy: Bibhusan Basnet

Bibhusan: We have already shot 50 percent of the film. Nevertheless, we needed to stall shooting due to the lockdown. The period is not exactly repaired but it will be four hours long as we will cover the last 3 years of the Civil War.

The movie has to do with a 13- year-old kid who becomes part of the war. He’s furious, as he has lost his household to the war and wishes to own a gun, to retaliate. Nevertheless, rather of a gun, he has a Handycam, through which he records the war, his experiences and his pals.

All of your previous motion pictures featured a personal story that resonated with the audiences. As a story-teller, what kind of stories are you thinking about telling?

Pooja: We don’t like to make issue-based films. For us, whenever the electronic camera begins rolling, whatever becomes personal. Dambarey Dendrite was never a film about street children only for us. Similarly, Dadyaa wasn’t simply a motion picture about migrants who left their home towns.

Everything we do, whatever we create has to come deeply from our heart and is a reflection of our individual stories. We can’t even compose the first sentence of the film if we can’t make it individual.

Your movies are not only appreciated for their genuine story-telling, however also for their remarkable visuals. How important is cinematography for you people, as storytellers?

Bibhusan: For as long as we can keep in mind, writing has been the medium through which we have revealed ourselves. Nevertheless, originating from a composing background did impact us in filmmaking, as we viewed cinema as something comparable to the craft of composing.

However thanks to the company of some good friends, we understood the value of cams. Cinema is not almost writing. At the end of the day, it’s a visual medium, and you require to comprehend the nitty-gritties of camera work. I feel that it’s fine for a director to not understand whatever about writing, however if you don’t understand how the cam works and how to manage it, then you miss a lot.

It’s through the medium of cinematography that you set the tone of the film, it’s pacing, state of mind and develop the world you wish to reveal. That’s why we like to explore cinematography. In our newest short film The Big-Headed Kid, we have actually explored by utilizing an 8mm movie, even when it’s old and difficult. As filmmakers, we believe in tough ourselves and exploring with numerous mediums.

The Nepali film market is going into 2 polar opposite directions. There’s the ‘mainstream’ movie theater making the big dollars and there is an independent cinema, which is limited within a group. Why do you believe we have not discovered the best balance?

Pooja: We don’t give priority to making movies based on our roots and stories that are original to us. The majority of our motion pictures, particularly commercial films, are not doing anything, except aping. There’s no effort to tell authentic and rooted stories, which took place throughout the Golden era of tv in Nepal.

We still have not made an excellent romance or a scary story. I think it involves the fact that we have normalised mediocrity as people barely express their discontentments. I strongly feel we need to speak the truth and state things that we don’t concur or like about films.

Also, we, the filmmakers of the existing generation, shouldn’t quit. There will constantly be challenging days. That does not suggest we offer up. We have to work and aim constantly for the improvement of motion pictures. That’s what South Korean filmmakers did and take a look at the quality of South Korean movie theater now.

Even after attaining so much, you men are mostly subtle. Why so?

Pooja: It’s a shared and mindful decision we took for our psychological well-being and peace of mind. As filmmakers, we like entertaining our inner guides more. There are many voices insides us which we wish to concentrate on more. That’s why we have actually shifted from film circles and for us, it has actually been a good option.

Making movie theater in itself is a herculean task. Then, there is an absence of gratitude and movie culture in Nepal. Undoubtedly, that should be demotivating at times. What then drives you to show up to work?

Bibhusan: For us, we do not have any option except making films. Our lives revolved around films. We don’t know what fuels or drives us, however movies are whatever for us.

When we had to stop our shoot for The entire Timers due to the lockdown, it was a sad experience for us, as we had provided five years of our lives to the motion picture and when we had actually lastly started shooting we had to stop.

However we didn’t let the experience impact us. We rather resumed our work by modifying the clips of the feature along with our newest short movie, The Big-Headed Young boy.

Pooja: We do not make movies just to sustain ourselves. It belongs to us. Our films are not just us depicting our inspirations, stories, and experiences. We are also depicting the stories of individuals we talked to and fulfilled throughout our filmmaking process, who opened to us and shared their dreams and experiences. That’s why every morning we awaken, we feel charged to fulfil our duty of telling the stories of individuals and us through our films.