11 Nepali Movies You Didn't Know Were Submitted For Oscars

Posted at: 2021-04-25  |   Rajiv Prajapati


Nepali people are so obsessed with international movies that we often forget our domestically produced gems. In fact, Nepali filmmakers regularly produce amazing films that go on to receive international acclaim.


The Nepali film industry has actually submitted a number of its creations for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars. And with the 93rd Academy Awards so close, why not take a look at all the different Nepali films that have been submitted for the Academy Awards?


Bulbul (2019)


The 2019 film Bulbul, starring Swastima Khadka, was the most recent Nepali film submission to the Academy Awards. In a hero-centric Nepali movie industry, the Binod Poudel-directed Bulbul subverts the narrative by giving us a female protagonist. 



Panchayat (2017)


The social drama film Panchayat explores the treatment of women under the Panchayat system of Nepal. The movie was directed by Shivam Adhikari and features Neeta Dhungana and veteran actor Saroj Khanal among the cast.



Seto Surya (2016)


Seto Surya is a critically acclaimed Nepali drama based on the Maoists’ Insurgency. It features Dayahang Rai in the lead, and was directed by Deepak Rauniyar, who has gained international recognition for his work. 


This movie premiered at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and was also screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, which is one of the top film festivals in the world.



Kalo Pothi (2015)


Kalo Pothi tells the story of two kids, Prakash and Kiran, who embark upon an adventure to find a missing hen amidst a landscape that has been ravaged by the Maoists’ Insurgency. It was directed by Min Bahadur Bham and was led by Khadka Nepali (Prakash) and Sukraj Rokaya (Kiran). 

Kalo Pothi was the highest grossing Nepali film overseas, earning Rs 4.5 crores from international screenings.



Talakjung vs Tulke (2014)


Directed by Nischal Basnet, Talakjung vs Tulke is a commercial film with a plot that circles around crime and revenge. It features some of the popular names such as Khagendra Lamichhane, Dayahang Rai, and Reecha Sharma among the cast.



Jhola (2014)


Jhola is a well-known Nepali film that explores the ancient Sati practice. It was based on a story by writer Krishna Dharabasi and directed by Yadav Kumar Bhattarai. Actress Garima Panta is the main lead of the movie. Jhola was submitted in the 87th Academy Awards, a year before Talakjung vs Tulke.



Soongava: Dance of the Orchids (2012)


Soongava: Dance of the Orchids was Nepal’s first movie to explore homosexual relationships. It was directed by Subarna Thapa and features Deeya Maskey, Nisha Adhikari, and Saugat Malla among the cast members.



Basain (2005)


The 2005 movie Basain follows the sorrows and troubles of a poor village family, which forces them to leave their village. This film was directed by Subash Gajurel and features many popular actors of the earlier days including Mithila Sharma, Dinesh DC, and Mukunda Bastakoti. The movie was submitted to the 79th Academy Awards. 



Muna Madan (2003)


Muna Madan is the quintessential classic of Nepali literature, written as an epic by Laxmi Prasad Devkota. It was adapted to the big screen in 2003 by Gyanendra Deuja and featured Deepak Tripathi and Usha Poudel as Madan and Muna.



Mukundo (2000)


Mukundo is a bewitching portrayal of the superstitious beliefs that influenced the lives of Nepalis in the olden days. It was directed by Tsering Rhitar Sherpa and narrates a very simple plot that is played out by Gauri Malla, Ratan Subedi, and Mithila Sharma. 



Caravan (1999)


Caravan is the OG Nepali submission to the Academy Awards. Directed by French director Eric Valli, this Himalayan tale was actually nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 72nd Academy Awards. 

The lead actor, Thinle Lhondup, was a silent icon who continues to be revered for his work in the film.  Caravan is a must-watch for all Nepali cinephiles.



These are all the movies that were submitted to the Academy Awards over the years. These works show that Nepali cinema still has a lot of potential to grow in the future. Let’s hope that the Nepali film industry continues to raise the bar and make films that can hold its own in the international platform. 


Have you watched any of the films on this list? What did you think of it? Follow us on Facebook and let us know in the comments.

See Also: Scenes From Movies And Series That Will Make You Go "Oi! Yo Ta Nepal Haina?"

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