5th Nepal International Film Festival – Awards 2022

These are the winners of the Nepal International Film Festival which took place from March 31 – April 4, 2022.

– Award List –

Don Quixote Award for Best Feature Film

Silenced Tree by Faysal Soysal – Turkey | 2020 – 117 minutes

Hayati is a small-town literature teacher and a one hit wonder author who tries helplessly to hold on to his past: his shattering marriage, his sick old mother, a decaying walnut tree and the memory of his father. Instead of moving on with his life and taking control, he passively accepts its blows and is only interested in digging into the past, until his discovery forces him to confront his own weakness and answer the question: is standing idle while witnessing evil being done is just as much of a sin as doing it?


Best Director (Feature Film)

Mohan Rai for One Night in Kathmandu (Mahanagar) – Nepal | 2019 – 70 minutes

A GIRL, 26—together with a BOY, 33, who is a stranger to her– take an injured man to a hospital when an accident take places near them one evening in Kathmandu. The girl, a failed poet, is lost and depressed. She doesn’t respond to the boy’s friendly gestures. She is returning to her village in the morning after years of struggle in the city. The boy, a tour guide from India, is on a trip to Kathmandu, and is also returning in the morning. They leave the hospital after the injured man’s relatives arrive, and part. But they meet again unexpectedly when the girl has to leave her friend’s place where she went to stay. With no place to stay, and only some hours left, they begin to wander around. And as they roam around the streets and alleys of the city, by the time morning comes, the girl realizes that she had become a different person.

Best Director (Short Film)

Bachan Byanjankar for Ashes of Us – Nepal | 2020 – 28 minutes

After an unfortunate loss in their lives, SADHAN and DEEPA, both in mid-30s, find their relationship in a spiraling limbo. While still living under the same roof, the closeness and intimacy has vanished leaving behind a void filled by coldness and indifference. Engulfed by this, their life has become a series of monotonous repetition of their daily routine with neither of them acknowledging one another. To break this cycle, Sadhan initiates, time and again, to thaw the indifference between them but his courage always fizzles out the crucial moments. Seeing as how the present holds no future, Sadhan seeks comfort in the past which has been stored in a memory vault, quite literally. After one such visit to the memory vault, Sadhan summons all his might and makes one last effort but at the crucial moment his courage wanes again.


Best Cinematography

Ujjal Bastakoti for Chiso Ashtray (dir. Dinesh Palpali) – Nepal | 2020 – 130 minutes

Madan, an innocent villager, arrives in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal with dreams in his eyes, and a heart full of fire. He finds courage in the ruthless city through his mentor, his love, and friends. But, as a Taxi Driver, he is always made to feel inferior to the ultra-modern lifestyle of Kathmandu. The city’s people, culture, and politics always look down on him. In his desperation to fit in, he changes his attire, his lifestyle, and even makes new friends. This change however comes with dire consequences. Now, he is at a risk of losing his friends, his mentor, his love, and even his innocent soul.

Best Screenplay

Mohan Rai for One Night in Kathmandu (Mahanagar) – Nepal | 2019 – 70 minutes

Best Actress

Menuka Pradhan for One Night in Kathmandu (Mahanagar) (dir. Mohan Rai) – Nepal | 2019 – 70 minutes

Best Actor

Divya Dev for Chiso Ashtray (dir. Dinesh Palpali) – Nepal | 2020 – 130 minutes

Best National Short Film

ICE CREAM by Sangita Shrestha – Nepal | 2020 – 8 minutes

The story revolves around a street girl child who pleads for money in the street as taught by her beggar mother. She also loves to have fun like other kids of her age but obviously. can’t afford. A random stranger notices her One day and then the story takes an unexpected turn.


Best International Short Film (Bagmati Award)

Al-sit by Suzannah Mirghani – Sudan | 20202 – 20 minutes

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman living abroad. Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?


Best International Animated Short Film (Manjushree Award)

Heart of Gold by Simon Filliot – France | 2020 -13 minutes

Who wouldn’t give their all for a child? A mother sees an opportunity to escape the hardships of a life of poverty by selling her organs to a sick, very rich, elderly neighbor. And she hands over her own flesh in exchange for gold. Little by little, necessity gives way to a craving for more gold.


Best National Documentary (AK Sherpa Award)

Gurkha Girls by Bishal Roka Magar – Nepal | 20202 – 30 minutes

As news surfaces that Britain is recruiting Nepali girls in its British Gurkha regiments, Dilmaya, a young girl from a rural mountain village, sees it as a life changing opportunity and devotes all her time in preparation.

Best International Documentary (Mount Everest Award)

Out of Thin Air by Jack Hextall – UK | 20202 – 34 minutes

Three landscape painters in their seventies travel to Nepal to paint the Himalayas and climb the Throrong La pass. A low-octane adventure from the artistic view of the painters, who struggle to capture the magnificence of their surroundings as well as tackling the 5400m pass by foot.

Best National Feature Film (sponsored by SONAM Gears)

One Night in Kathmandu (Mahanagar) by Mohan Rai – Nepal | 2019 – 70 minutes

Best International Feature Film (Gautam Buddha Award)

No Ground Beneath the Feet by Mohammad Rabby Mridha – Bangladesh | 20202 – 93 minutes

​​‘No Ground Beneath The Feet’ revolves around the impoverished ambulance driver Saiful who came to the metropolis to earn his livelihood. The film is set in the backdrop of the consequences of climate change as the rural areas in Bangladesh are hit by the devastating flood. At the same time, Saiful, trying to settle in Dhaka’s humid and cruel capital, gets tempted and consequently trapped into a problematic marriage with another grappling soul in the city barely sustaining. Saiful sways between two wives along with few reckless jobs and a series of unfortunate events. Saiful struggles to get any solid ground beneath his feet, literally and metaphorically, as a parasite living in Dhaka. Parallelly, his family back in the village and his second wife struggles to find any footing due to the flood, let alone a piece of land to bury their loved ones who passed away during the flood. Saiful tries several risky jobs, constantly in a battle of dwindling between his strong ethics and poverty. Saiful breaks free finally, but at what cost?

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