New film on plight of migrant Nepalese
The trials and tribulations of Nepalese when they go abroad - based on the real-life incident of a bride who goes to Canada in search of her husband - is to be the subject of a new film.
By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS
Thirty-one-year-old Kathmandu-based Nepalese film director Anil Sangroula has teamed up with Nepalese immigrant in Canada Hari Siwakoti and Canadian Ray Robertson of Cane Vision company to jointly make "Pardesh".
The film will focus on the brain drain in Nepal, which is fast losing its scholars, professionals and workers, who want to leave the insurgency- and poverty-torn country for greener pastures abroad.
The average Nepalese living in a country that is among the world's poorest nations, says Siwakoti, regard the West as a land of plenty.
They think once they can manage to go abroad, all their troubles will be over. However, when once they go abroad, they find the ambience different, the law of the land different and even their relatives staying there different - busy constantly with no time to spare for them.
"Then expectations don't match reality and there are clashes," says Siwakoti.
The cast of "Pardesh" will have both Nepalese and Canadian artistes with the shooting taking place in Nepal as well as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and, of course, the Niagara Falls in Canada.
The makers of "Pardesh" want to have it released by the 2006 Dashain, Nepal's biggest festival.
Another Nepalese film on a similar theme is likely to be released in Nepal and India earlier.
"Ishta Mitra" directed by Siwakoti is on the same theme but in a different location. It is the tale of the struggle of Nepalese trying to eke out a living in the US.
What adds piquancy to the film is that it takes a close look at Nepalese blue-collar workers employed in Indian restaurants and the prejudices they face.
Siwakoti, who did a crash course in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in 1996, says he spent four months meeting Nepalese working in restaurants, shops and markets there to get the material for his film.
He completed it in 2002, a year after he migrated to Canada, with half the money for it put up by his wife Tulasa, who worked as a beauty consultant, and the rest by Mridula Koirala, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala's aunt who Siwakoti says owns a restaurant in New York.
Though it was shown in the US, Britain, Canada and Europe, "Ishta Mitra" has never been screened in Asia.
Siwakoti now plans to release it in Kathmandu and then possibly the Nepalese-speaking cities of India.