The Nepal International Film Festival (NIFF 2023) is back and better than ever, with an incredible lineup of 96 films from 35 countries. The much-awaited festival is set to deliver a remarkable cinematic experience, highlighting the finest selection of global and local films. Whether you’re a fan of indie films or gritty documentaries, NIFF has something for everyone.
NIFF 2023 is set to take place from March 16th to March 20th, 2023, and will be screened at QFX Cinemas at Labim Mall, Civil Mall, Chaya Mall, and Bhatbhateni Bhaktapur. There are three kinds of tickets available for purchase. You can purchase Show Ticket (per venue), Day Ticket (per venue), or Event Pass (all venues) from Khalti.
Featuring on NIFF 2023
NIFF 2023 features two main categories: films and documentaries. The film category includes feature films (both national and international), short films, and animated films. On the other hand, the documentary category includes feature and short documentaries from all over the world, as well as those made in Nepal. With such a wide variety of films on offer, NIFF caters to diverse tastes and interests. The festival’s film program is categorized into World Panorama, Nepal Panorama, Docs @ NIFF, Docs made in Nepal, Shorts Live Action, Shorts Animated, and National Shorts. These categories ensure something for everyone, regardless of their cinematic preferences.
NIFF is an excellent opportunity for film lovers to explore and appreciate different cultures and perspectives through the medium of film. It is a celebration of artistic expression and creative storytelling and a platform for filmmakers to showcase their work. The Nepali audience is in for a treat this year at Nepal International Film Festival. With a plethora of options to choose from, movie enthusiasts can watch films from all around the world right here in Kathmandu. The festival promises to showcase some of the most thought-provoking, visually stunning, and entertaining films that will leave a lasting impression on the viewers.
What makes this year’s NIFF even more remarkable is that some of the films being shown are being premiered for the first time. With world and Asia premieres, this is a unique opportunity for Nepali audiences to witness a diverse range of films from around the globe.
The festival has brought together a wide range of films that cater to various interests and tastes. There is something for everyone, from documentaries and dramas to comedies and thrillers. The festival will also feature films made by Nepali filmmakers, giving the audience a chance to appreciate the work of their Nepali artists.
World Premier at NIFF 2023
The Nepal International Film Festival (NIFF) is all set to unveil an impressive lineup of films making their debut on the world stage. Brimming with creativity and originality, these cinematic gems will be unveiled to an eager audience in Kathmandu as the festival celebrates its global premiere.
TSU | Directed by Ü Inose | 1 hour 27 minutes | Japan
TSU is a powerful coming-of-age feature film about Yuki, a high school student in rural Japan facing mounting pressures and frustrations as graduation approaches. Fleeing into the mountains, he discovers a collective of people living off the grid, shedding the trappings of his old life and learning that true freedom comes when you have nothing left to lose. Through a journey of self-discovery and rebirth, TSU offers suspense, action, and a touch of fantasy, leaving a lasting impact on the viewer.
Mentawai – Souls of the Forest | Directed by Joo Peter| 1 hour 15 minutes | Indonesia
The feature documentary portrays the daily life, spiritual cosmos, and commitment of three shamans from the last indigenous tribe living in the Mentawai archipelago of Sumatra. The film highlights the destruction of their habitat due to deforestation enforced by the Indonesian government and logging companies. The story also shows decades of oppression of the indigenous culture and their struggle to preserve their environment and culture. The project is supported by researchers, activists, and the Indigenous Foundation and is part of a planned series of films celebrating the diversity and richness of Indonesian indigenous culture.
Welcome to Gobi | Directed by Dapeng Hao | 1 hour 30 minutes | China
The feature film follows the lives of three friends – Xiao Sichuan, Guokui, and Zhenhua – who work in a factory in a gritty industrial town located in the Gobi desert. The trio faces a looming debt and turns to deceit to avoid defaulting. However, as pressure mounts, they are on the brink of criminality. The film explores the impact of the modern age on a small town struggling to keep pace with the rapidly changing world. The town of Gobi, once known for its simplicity and hard work, is now a victim of the constant bombardment of information from the outside world, from mines to blockchain technology. The people of Gobi feel disconnected and forgotten and are at risk of being left behind.
Trasadi | Directed by Dipen Maharjan | 24 minutes | Nepal
Darpan Maskey was in his 20s, haunted by an unknown presence that performed a strange ritual. Every night, he was tormented by the sound of whispers and the pain of severe hand wounds. As he struggled to come to terms with his predicament, Darpan turned to his friend Kiran Upadhaya for help.
Kiran, a young priest, was eager to prove himself and become independent of his father’s shadow. He attempts to assist Darpan in his time of need with his knowledge of spiritual practices. But as they delved deeper into the mystery, they found themselves in uncharted territory. Their efforts to unravel the situation forced Darpan to make difficult choices, and they soon faced unforeseen consequences. Despite their danger, they pressed on, determined to uncover the truth and banish the dark forces that threatened to consume them both.
Podalirius | Directed by Ramazi Baranov | 55 minutes | Russia
Podalirius is a documentary that pays homage to existence’s never-ending ebb and flows. At its core, the film offers an intimate portrayal of a woman as she ventures into the depths of her innermost being, unearthing life’s cyclical and regenerative essence. Through its artful storytelling and stunning visuals, Podalirius celebrates the soul of a woman and its profound connection to the cycle of life. With every scene, the film invites us to reflect on our journeys and contemplate existence’s mysteries.
As we immerse ourselves in Podalirius, we are transported to a world of wonder and beauty, where the complexity of the human experience is laid bare. In honor of the great Hiroshi Shimizu, this film is a poignant tribute to the power of cinema to capture the essence of life and inspire us to appreciate the beauty surrounding us.
Asia Premier at NIFF 2023
Tutku (Passion) | Directed by AnneMarie van Splunter | 26 minutes | Netherlands
The documentary follows Tutku, a young woman who finds inspiration in pigeon keeping and the ongoing struggles for freedom and equality faced by Alevites and women in a patriarchal society. Across 25 locations throughout Istanbul, the documentary explores how the love for pigeons can connect people to the universe, telling stories of passion and cherished memories among bird owners. Along the way, viewers are treated to a unique perspective on Istanbul’s neighborhoods, as the film showcases the intricate details of balconies and rooftops in the city.
Chocolate and Butter Sculpture | Directed by Yingxin Chen | 1 hour 35 minutes | China
The film is set in rural China’s vast and stunning countryside, where two young boys begin their journeys of self-discovery. Sangdan, a determined and independent traveler from a distant village, embarks on a mission to master the ancient and intricate art of butter sculpture at a far-off monastery. Meanwhile, Tang Yu, a tech-savvy city-dweller, seeks to break free from the restrictions imposed by his strict upbringing and the responsibilities that come with it.
As fate would have it, their paths cross, and they embark on a grand adventure together, traversing the country’s diverse landscapes and learning valuable lessons about life, friendship, and personal growth. The film presents a poignant tale of two individuals from vastly different backgrounds, united by their thirst for discovery and their desire to explore the world around them.
Courage | Directed by Rubén Rojo Aura| 1 hour 35 minutes | Mexico
The story centers around an aging actress who has spent her entire life on the stage and is now facing a significant challenge as she battles a retina disease that threatens to rob her of her vision. Despite this challenge, she remains determined to maintain her place in the theater company she has devoted her life to.
Her struggles compounds by the arrival of her estranged son, who has recently battled with alcoholism. Together, they must confront their past and present and navigate the complexities of their relationship as they work toward healing and redemption. Through their journey, they confront deep-seated fears and insecurities and better understand themselves and each other. Along the way, they also face the challenges of aging, including the search for acceptance and the struggle to maintain one’s place in the world as physical limitations begin to take hold.
The Beach at the End of the world | Directed by Petrus Cariry | 1 hour 28 minutes | Brazil
The film centers around the small town of Ciarema, ravaged by rising sea levels, leading to the displacement of families and the destruction of homes. Alice, a passionate environmentalist, resides with her ailing mother, Helena, in a house that is frequently impacted by tidal surges. While Alice desires to leave the town for safety, Helena’s attachment to living by the sea makes her want to stay. As events unfold, both women are forced to confront their fates in the face of the looming danger.
Sally Leapt out of a Window Last Night | Directed by Tracy Spottiswoode | 19 minutes 47 seconds | United Kingdom
In this captivating film, set in Ireland in 1778, two young women challenge societal norms and traditions to break free from the predetermined paths their families have planned for them. Their decision to elope together scandalizes society and puts their reputations on the line. Inspired by the story of the legendary “Ladies of Llangollen,” this movie is a powerful portrayal of the strength and courage required to forge one’s path, regardless of the consequences.
NIFF 2023 will be held on selective QFX Cinema halls in Kathmandu valley, i.e Labim Mall, Civil Mall, Chaya Mall, and Bhatbhateni Bhaktapur. You can purchase the tickets from Khalti.
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