International Ties & Outstanding Results

The Google : Polarsteps Project With Gramafilms

To be recognized in the global scale had always been a dream of ours, and over the years working with many international clients has allowed for this dream to be materialized. Our international standards of working is what enabled us to reach that goal and we were over the moon when one such company Grama flims, one of the best london based creative agency reached out to us be a part of their filming in Nepal.

The Google: Polarsteps project with Gramafilms was a chance for our company to learn, grow and provide some vital filming in Nepal tips to one of the creative agencies out there! To say that we were thrilled to be a part of this team would be an understatement.

Here is a walkthrough of our Journey with Gramafilms and Algor Lieman the man with immense creative talent!

Lets give you sneak peak of how we make things happen!

 

Adjust To Last Minute Changes!

Our initial plans were to shoot the film in Kathmandu. But, the plans changed and the next morning, we were all on a bus to Pokhara. Having been a part of the industry for so long there is no question we are used these changes and embraced it with full vigour and excitement!

 

Rain, Rain Go Away? Please We Need to Film. Seriously.

The location change was not the only thing that would catch off guard, the heavy rain that followed the day we were supposed to film did as well. But, did that stop us? If you know us, you know that “rain never bothered us anyway” or any weather conditions to be honest. Hence, amidst that rain we started our filming on the road on our way to Sarangkot. Our cameraman, Tiago, was wearing a special harness to film through the open door of a moving van. The roads were narrow and difficult, but we pulled in our creative abilities and made it happen.

 

The Filming Begin!

After getting some filler shots, it was time for the real deal. Finally, the filming day was here!It was around 5 in the morning when we left for the shoot. The road to our location was ruined by the rain last night, we had to leave our bigger cars behind. So, we took the four-wheel vehicles with us and filmed our travellers. We knew all the hassle in the long run would be worth it and it seemed true with the warm welcome we received at Pumdi Bhumdi.

 

Greeting From Breathtaking Damauli

Our next location was much farther from Pokhara. We left early in the morning and reached the riverside of Damauli. And trust us when we say this — everything about Damauli is beautiful.

The rivers running. The beautiful highway. The cool wind. Just about everything! We filmed all day by the river and returned to the hotel in the evening. On our way back,
one of the vehicles broke down but we had contingencies planned for that. Finally, the whole team united back at the hotel by 10 in the evening. We were all enjoying everything about the shoot despite the challenges.

Who won this ? The Cruel weather or Our Team at Kathmandu Films?

The weather had been cruel to us ever since we started this journey. Our hopes to get the perfect shot of the himalayas even brought us to Pokhara. Our persistence to find the perfect shot had us atop Sarangkot Hill by 4:30 am, we did everything in our power to deliver and win our war against the cruel weather. Turns out all that perseverance was worth it as we produced quality end results that impressed both of our clients, Google and Gramafilms.

 

 

Filming in Nepal

Everything You Need To Know About Filming As Told By A Filmmaker

 

Filming in Nepal efficiently can be a hard nut to crack. There’s everything — all at once!

One minute you are enjoying the happy summer sun, sipping yummy tea somewhere, and the next thing you know you are running to save yourself from the rain. It’s a visual explosion of alluring Himalayas and enchanting greenery. It’s a chaotic pot of religions, languages, cultures, ideas, history and landscapes that contribute to the mind-boggling diversity in Nepal.
Perhaps, this is exactly what has been driving so many creative minds in Nepal over the years. It’s almost impossible to run out of ideas.

But with all this excitement comes with responsibility as well, before you begin to start your journey of filming in Nepal, you must allow plenty of time for yourself to fully prepare and plan. Making sure the film shoots comply with the current laws in force and not hinder the country or its people in any way.

That being said, Nepal still proves to be a worth-while filming journey to take and in order to experience this chaos you have to live it, tell your story through it! Therefore here is 101 on filming in Nepal that will make this journey all the while easier.

 

The permits for filming in Nepal

A filming permit is the first thing you have to get if you want to be able to film in Nepal. Government of Nepal – the Ministry of Information and Communications provides foreign film shooting permits in Nepal. The tedious paperwork and documents that Kathmandu Films can help you with. We help your crew to not just obtain film permits, but also give you advice on tax payment and customs clearance.

While Nepal Filming Permit is mandatory, there are further permits required to film in national parks, heritage areas, private property and public Places.

 

Suitable Travelling options

Choosing the right routes and the proper vehicles is essential in Nepal. The roads and the traffic are quite challenging so a well-experienced driver is very important. While most main roads are in proper conditions, the other roads may have potholes and confusing routes. Find a trusted driver and production house like Kathmandu Films that aids you in the logistics providing you proper vehicle options based on your needs.

 

Striking Locations

Nepal offers visually pleasing locations for you to film your projects. While the most popular places to shoot in nepal are Kathmandu, Pokhara, Mustang, Everest etc, many locations in Nepal that still remain undiscovered by the filming industry. To know more about these hidden gems it is best advised to contact an expert line producers that can give you more information about them.

 

Diverse Language and Tradition

For a rather small country, over 123 languages are spoken by the local people in country, diversity is rampant here. Cultures and traditions vary from one group of people to another as well. Even the people belonging to the same cast or the same religion observe social traditions differently. A local guide can help you understand this diversity better, translate the language and communicate ideas effectively. Moreover, if you are willing to shoot about or during certain festivals, it’s best to check in with your fixer before you make plans of your filming in Nepal.

 

Cash Over Cards

Using visa and master cards in Nepal is tricky, you should never rely fully on them to pay your bill. Sure the major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara have cards systems installed in most places, but the efficiency of these places are questionable. Furthermore, when travelling outside of the valley you will rarely come across any ATMs. Therefore, always opt for cash over cards but be safe about it.

 

Seasonal Weather in Nepal

The weather conditions in Nepal varies every few kilometers and you’ll never truly know if it’s going to rain or the sun will be out. It’s best to always ask your local guide about the weather conditions in the locations you are planning to visit. Also, a country that enjoys all four seasons, you have to know your way around it; opting for weathers that provide better skin captures.

 

Precautions From Wild Animals

One of the best aspects of Nepal is its rich wildlife but while filming near them you have to take proper measures of safety. Leopards, snakes, foxes are a very common sight in Nepal when travelling to remote areas. Talk to your guide or fixer about the wildlife threats in your preferred location and stay vigilant and prepared. Also mosquitoes are pretty common during the summer so it’s advisable to take needed measures for your protection from these pesky insects as well.

 

Keep An Open mind

Nepal’s distinct cultural aspects could be shocking to many people who come down from other parts of the world. The best way to handle any such culture shock is to keep an open mind and be respectful of the practices even if you do not agree with them. This will ensure that both parties feel comfortable in each others company and the exchanges be it in the form of friendships or interviews happen smoothly.

 

 

How To Get Filming Permits in Nepal

Yearly many filmmakers flock to Nepal due to the versatility the country offers in terms of landscape and culture. However, wishing to just film in Nepal is not enough, since a lot these shots are captures in heritage sites, and showcase the life of Nepalese people, the Government of Nepalkeeps a watchful eye. Making sure filming permits are issued and used when required.

Therefore, here are a few things related to receiving filming permits in Nepal that you need to understand

 

How We Play A Part

Government of Nepal – the Ministry of Information and Communications provides foreign film shooting permits in Nepal. The tedious paperwork and documents will be processed by Kathmandu Films for you. We help your crew to not just obtain film permits, but also give you advice on tax payment and customs clearance.

 

Your Content Matters

Before you request for a permit, it is to be made sure that your film does not demean Nepal or Nepali people’s values or cultures in any way. The Ministry of Information and Communication grants the permit for the shooting of any kind of TV commercials, documentaries, music videos, feature films, and other films that do not spread unfavorable messages about the country.

 

What You Can Expect To happen

The filming permit comes with a government-assigned Liaison Officer, who’ll remain with the filming team for the entirety of the shoot and will monitor all filming activities. He ensures that the filming is not impacting the environment, the society or the people in any negative way. The liaison officer holds full authority to suspend all filming activities if s/he thinks it is unlawful or is impacting the country and its image in any negative way.

 

The Documents required for Filming Permits

The documents needed to process the permit are:

● A Letter made by the assigned local coordinator informing the Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit.

● An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker showing that they have already chosen and hired a local co-ordinator.

● An application form.

● Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:
○ Storyboard for TV commercials
○ Treatment for documentaries
○ Theme (concept) and Lyrics for music videos
○ Details of content and objectives of the programme
○ Presentation for TV programmes.

● A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying exact dates and locations (for all types of productions).

● Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.

● Equipment list with values for custom clearance.

Based on type of storytelling there are different types of filming permits you may need. Moreover, Different filming locations require different types of filming permits. While the Nepal Filming Permit is mandatory, other permits are supposed to be requested depending upon the location of the shoot.

 

There different types of filming permits in Nepal include:

● Nepal Filming Permit (mandatory)
This is a one-time permit, which is mandatory regardless of where your location is in the country. This permit is issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

● National Parks Filming Permit
Nepal has a total of 20 national parks and conservation area that require a separate filming permit and some amount to be paid as filming charge in the location.

● Heritage Areas Filming Permit
Filming in cultural heritage areas like temples, monuments and other figures need to be endorsed by the municipality or the district office. However, the permit can be suspended
anytime should the officers feel the film is rendering harm to the cultural heritage.

● Public Area Filming Permit
Public area filming permit is endorsed by the local police authority as long as no harm is being done to the public.

● Private Property Filming Permit
Filming in privately owned properties like hotels and restaurants, cafes, recreational halls, movie halls etc needs to have the permit from the owner himself.

 

 

From Recce to Mustang: The Journey To The Sky Burial

Mustang was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Today, it still stands strong representing its history, an exotic dessert in highlands, stonewalled villages and breathtaking views. The entire feel of the place is mystical.

We got ourselves to this mystical land to cover a special story, the one that strictly practiced in the vicinity of this area i.e Sky Burial. In an unabated search for villages that still performed this ancient practice.

We know sounds odd, let us explain …

What is Sky Burial?

Sky burial is an ancient Tibetan funeral which has an unusual yet unique process. The corpse is first dismembered. Then it is exposed on an elevated location, as an offering for the sacred vultures. Far from conventional Sky burial can come off as shocking to a lot of people; after all, dead bodies being offered to vultures.

However, philosophy and values behind this ritual are simply beautiful and
Virtuous which stands “If your spirit has left your body and it could nourish another creature, then it should.”

We wanted to capture this very sentiment and set out on our journey far and wide from Recce to Mustang.

The onset of our journey a short flight to Pokhara, from where we drove for more than 10 hours to Jomsom, one of the biggest cities in Mustang district, well known for its relentless winds. Connected to Lower Mustang with the Upper, it is also one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. Mostly visited by people going to the sacred temple of Muktinath.

 

The Mystic of Mustang

Located in Upper Mustang Kagbeni is famous village for people, from all around the country, visiting to perform post-funeral rituals.

This village performs all the distinct post funeral rituals but still has not seen any sky burial for more than a decade. Hence, to find the location we needed, we decided to hike up for about 45 minutes, crossing the Kali Gandaki river to come upon a small village named Tiri.

There we met Chhamba Dukta in Gonpa Gong. A Lama who performs sky burials, originally in his village in Dolpa, and in Mustang. He told us that it has been around 10 years since any sky burial. The villagers have settled for easier burning funerals, rather than difficult ones. Hence, on his reference, our team headed towards a village, Dhamkar, in Upper Mustang.

 

The Basic Of Sky Burial

The very first thing to do after a person dies is to determine the method for their funeral. Usually, a high priest looks into the time of birth and death to find out what sign the person is. He determines one of the five signs: earth, water, air, sky, and fire through basic astrology. After ascertaining the sign, s/he is either buried, chopped and fed to the fishes, chopped and fed to
the vultures or burned respectively.

 

The Procedures Of This Ancient Tradition

After a Lama determines the process, the body is first tied up and he begins to recite the necessary prayers. Family members join along, beating double-sided drums and chanting prayers. They offer their condolences to the deceased by offering Khada, a religious cloth for farewell. Then, the priest goes around the body thrice, and it’s carried to a place that is specially allocated for the funeral.

Once there, the body breakers chop the body into precise pieces. The tip of the fingers containing the nails are considered to be poisonous to the vultures, so they are burnt along with the head. Once the offerings are ready, the Lama plays Damaru, an instrument crafted from the human knee. This is an invitation for the vultures to glide down and devour the offerings. It is believed to be a bad omen if the vultures do not feed on the body. It implies that the body it too dirty to eat (i.e, the person has sinned), or the rituals weren’t performed correctly. In such a case, the body has to be burnt, which is considered inauspicious, as it had to follow two traditions.

 

Concepts Behind Sky Burial

As described in the traditional Tibetan mythologies, sky burials signify a true act of compassion and charity. The body, which never again serves any purpose, is offered to the vultures to feed on as an alms for the sacred birds. The idea at work here is that if a body that ideally serves no use can sustain some other creature, then why not? After all, it’s important to not waste any opportunity to help other living beings.

One of the other interesting concepts of why the burial is named the SKY burial revolves around the choice of the animal: the vultures.A traditional Tibetan mythology indicates that once the vultures are old, they do not fall back to the earth when their time has come. Rather, they keep flying higher until they just disappear into the sky. And that’s where the name comes from: Sky Burials!

Lastly, while this ritual is slowly moving towards extinction we take pride in having been able to document and capture these stories through film. Tell the story many had forgotten is one the reasons for Kathmandu Films and we feel honored to have been able to do that.

 

 

 

Spectacular Filming Locations in Nepal That Will Have You Mesmerized

Nepal might be a small, landlocked country but that description does not do justice to the aerial visuals it has to offer. A result of being culturally rich, religiously secular and home to three very distinct geographical landscape the country offers diversity for filmmakers like no other.

The lush green forests, silver mountains, ancient monuments, historically and culturally rich heritage, and diverse yet picturesque landscapes make for an exciting location that is bound to leave your viewers in awe.Therefore, it makes sense that every year, a big number of film crew flock in to Nepal in search of these locations . Still not convinced? Well, here is a guide to give you a better insight of the what the country really offers you filmmakers out there.

 

Wonders Of Kathmandu Valley:

Kathmandu valley comprises of three major cities: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur. All these three cities hold to themselves the richness of cultural diversity and heritage that is beautiful to look at.

 

Swayambhunath Temple

Situated atop a hill, this ancient architecture is a sight to behold. The buddhist stupa is sacred, beautiful with heavy influence of Tibetan culture. A complex surrounds this temple consists of shrines and devotees looming about to give their prayers. But, what makes this temple more special is perhaps the monkeys that are housed here, Swayambhunath Temple is fondly named the Monkey Temple.These mischievous little creatures keep you fascinated with their mannerism and interactions with human, a sight that really needs to be experienced to be believed. The character, history and religious importance this temple has definitely makes it a spot discovering and capturing.

 

Kathmandu Valley

Oh my the diversity! Unlike varied places where you need to travel far and wide for historic monuments Kathmandu Valley has everything within reach. The views are stunning, the historic architecture mesmerizing and the culture enchanting. A package that is a mix of the urban and the simple life, wrapped to make this beautiful valley.

 

Durbar Squares

There are three Durbar Squares within the valley: Basantapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Patan Durbar Square. Each as beautiful as the other, but with their own origin and history. These squares underwent some terrible damages during the 2015 earthquake but mostof them have since been rebuilt, illuminated with craftsmanship that even today holds relevant.

 

Pashupatinath Temple

With Bagmati river on the side, Pashupati temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindu people. Thousands of people come to visit this temple every year, most to worship while some to film. The main entrance to temple is not open to non-Hindu people, however, thevicinity of this temple is open to all. The area around is as religiously embedded temple inside is though so you won’t miss your chance to capture some of the most ethnically rich shots.

 

Streets of Thamel

Here comes the local and tourist favorite Thamel, one of the most-hyped and touristy spots in Kathmandu. Back in the 70’s this area became the true home of the hippies and the influence of the area can still be felt all around. The psychedelic wall hanging, airy hipster wear hangs loose in area amidst busting bars, restaurants, hotels and guest houses. On fridays the area lights with live music. The cultural appeal to this place is great as well, with its busy streets covered with colorful prayer flags, beautiful “Om Mani Padme Hum chants coming from the nearby CD shops, there is just a whole different vibe to Thamel that is unmatched.

 

Filming Outside Kathmandu valley

The valley is just the beginning, the versatility of Nepal actually shines through when you leave the urban comfort and venture into the cities and locations outside of the valley.

While the roads and remoteness can at times pose some threat, it always worth it to venture furthers as the charm extends and so does unrealistically beautiful landscapes that take your breath away. Once you step outside the valley, you have an even better chances of catching those sunlit golden snowy peaks early morning. You have so much to explore and find an ideal location for you to cover your film.

 

Pokhara

There is plenty to enjoy in Pokhara: the serene lake reflecting the beautiful Himalayas, adrenaline packed adventure sports or visiting the cultural villages. The ambience of peace and magic this place gives off is truly felt by the people who visit it — the experience is unreal. Name one of the best budget cities in the world by tripadvisor the place definitely worth a visit!

 

Mustang

Mustang was once an old, independent Tibetan kingdom but still retaining its mystical reputation to this day. While not really on the greener side with lush forests, it is perhaps more favored because of the stone walled hedges, high altitude deserts rich red and ocher, with deep gorges set against an infinite blue sky.

 

Everest

This place needs little to no explanation, the highest mountain in the world and seven natural wonder of the world will obviously provide you will all the spectacular shots. Its tall stature stands at 8847m making it the highest peak in the world. Many filmmakers aspire to have shots captured from here but that does entail withstanding of the dangers of travelling there along with the temperature which drops to -60° winter with around i-19° in summers. In such cases travelling with a expert filming company that knows the area is advised such as Kathmandu Films makes sure that all your needs are met and permits are managed for a wonderful filming experience in your desired locations.

 

 

What To Expect When Working With Us

Filming for Lion’s Club – Pieter Miller from Image Base

At Kathmandu Films, we strive to provide the best filming services in Nepal. Our connection with the local community, expertise in handling equipment, understanding of permit structures and staff capable visionaries all combine to make a package that is undeniably make your filming process smooth.

This why we have continuously had the chance to work in international platforms and deliver the best.

As Pieter Miller a producer from Image base, Chicago based video, and event agency traveled to Nepal with visions of telling the Lion Clubs stories, it was on us to film some of the local Lions Club in Nepal.

 

The 8 day shoot that followed:

Day 1: The onset of filming journey

The equipments were thoroughly checked, inspections made by our expert Cinematographer himself. There is no room for errors. We arrive prompt and ready and add in a few more equipments suggested by our experts.

 

Day 2: Understanding Our Location

BP. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies

It was May 6th, Sunday. We started early in the morning at 7 The journey started from our hotel to BP KOIRALA LIONS CENTRE FOR OPHTHALMIC STUDIES. We reached the hospital and was welcomed by the Director Mr. Anand Sharma. He briefed the crew about the institute and after that, we got busy! Scouting the area to find spots that delivered the best shots. Delegations were in place and other half of the team began with equipment setting and interviews, there is no time to lag here, only diligence and efficiency. The 5 interviews went by smoothly giving us enough time to V-rolls.

 

Day 3 Interviewing The Subjects i.e students and doctors

BP. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies Rural Clinic

The next morning, we headed to the Institute for the Rural clinic team. We traveled with the team to Nepal-Korea Friendship Hospital, Bhaktapur. Interviews all lined up with professionals and students running the rural clinic, trying hard to capture their unique perspectives on working in such clinics.

We planned this tightly to get the most out of each day hence we did not stop there, heading to the town Bhaktapur where Lions club had established an eye care center. There were children coming for inspection and diagnosis there and it was perfect opportunity for us to capture some V-rolls and interviews with students and the Doctor who was conducting the treatment.

 

Day 4 Unfortunate Weather and Gurkhali Spirit

As usual day 4 started early at 7 am, when working in a schedule like this it imperative that we make the most of our time, no time waster or spare. The travel that happened on this day to Gorkha was marked by challenges and triumph. While our competent team went ahead got the interviews from 2 Engineers, we battled the questionable weather that did not lets us work beyond sunset. The plan was drive past in the dark to 2 hours more off the road but we had to make a judgement call, to rest recuperate start afresh. When working with heavy equipment and a big team we have take a lot of things into consideration. As an ethical company it is our utmost duty work in a manner that is safe for our team, not over exert them. This worked out well for us in the end as with a rested self and an open mind we were able to quickly locate a place that beckoned to be filmed; a school.

 

Day 5 All Work & Then Fun

A Sweet Gesture At Work

The schools were a great example of what the Local Lion Clubs were able to achieve hence we made it our priority to do our best to illustrate that. We filmed the teachers and classes. After the V-roll we started interviewing students. When we were wrapping up, the school prepared a nice farewell program for us. The whole school was singing songs for us and the principal was handing us a small token of love. Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of venturing into the rural areas for filming is our connection with the locals, handling big equipment is an immediate ice and breaker and from then on the bonds keep forming.

 

Day 6 Traveling Back To Kathmandu

Travel Back to Kathmandu Next day, we traveled back to Kathmandu. The weather was nice. The wind was cool. We took a much-needed rest on our way back.

 

Day 7 An Inspirational Story

We are filming in the streets of Teku for the day. It was for a Mobility Cart story. Specifically, Chatra Bahadur Gurung’s story. He received the mobility cart from Lion Ramchandra Dahal, who is an amazing person himself. Gurung narrates his story of how he received the three-wheeled cart that changed his life, enabling him to be independent. The essence that we captured through this story was heartwarming and great representation of what Lions Club Stood for.

 

Day 8 The Last Day Time To Wramp Up!

Wrapping up a shoot is always bitter sweet but it needs to be done. Hence, we started our day early in the morning, heading towards Dhulikhel where the Global action team meeting was being held. We filmed the whole event and interviewed some of the members of the Global Action team. After the shoot, we headed straight to the airport to drop our clients off.

Working with international clients always exciting because it makes for a great exchange of knowledge they teach us international techniques while we educate them on filming in complex climates like Nepal. At the end both parties grow and become embody a unique blend of skills. A work exchange that translates skill development, teamwork and an an amazing film.

Meta description:
Kathmandu Films always strives to provide the best filming services in Nepal. Some time back, we worked with Pieter Miller, a producer from Image base, to film some of the projects the local Lions Club in Nepal were participating in.

 

Blog 8 Post Earthquake Filming in Nepal

Our Response To The Biggest Trauma Nepal Ever Experienced

The filming scenario in Nepal was rattled after the major earthquake of 2015. While the local film production carried on shortly after, the international crew reduced greatly due to the posed danger of after shocks. Although some filmmakers persevered even they had difficulty adjusting to the new changes in filming process and the legal processing for permits and other required documents that happened post earthquake.

 

The Impact the Earthquake Brought To Filming

It is now 2018 and things are slowly changing, we are past the 2015 earthquake and that *almost* claimed that the filming industry in Nepal. But which damage at such a great intensity came with came with a few changes all filmmakers needed to adhere to.

 

Drones prohibition

Filming with drones without a legal permission has been deemed as an illegal practice in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. The drone permit costs more than the drone itself. At the same time, it is incredibly difficult to obtain any drone permission.

Despite these changes through storytellers like National Geographic and Kathmandu Films kept going, sharing the stories of people post the earthquake educating the world of the damage it had done.

 

Working Through Consistent Fear

The number of international filmmakers coming to Nepal reduced greatly after the earthquake. The locations were deemed unsafe, rumors were a blaze of recurrent quakes. Nepal has moved on since then but for the entire world who viewed the quake from the lenses of new channels trusting Nepal is still relatively harder.

That being said, post 3 years things do seem to be changing, evolving as more international companies flock to Nepal for the versatility it offers.

 

Traveling Is The Biggest Challenge

A third world nation infrastructure in Nepal has been questionable, however with slow responsive government and the earthquake coupled with unique landscapes, travelling with all that equipment always requires a lot skill, determination and grit. Something we have plenty of!

 

Damaged History

The quake left a mark on many monuments, although officials are working hard to restore these historic places the imprint of the great earthquake will perhaps always remain. Ingrained both deep in memory and some of the rather artistic monuments.

While locations outside of the valley are now in the clear, the effects of the quake rings in our memory causing the filming crew to work with caution and contingency.

The earthquake of 2015 brought some changes to our lives and in the filming scenario in Nepal. However, Kathmandu Films had been actively working and filming to bring the stories into light even during and post the earthquakes. The earthquake shook our country, but we stood strong through it, filming for over 90 channels covering the devastation. Despite the sadness of the calamity, we were able to add to our knowledge and skill to our experience.

 

 

Equipments Put Magic Into Your Filming

While the landscape of Nepal has already laid out the groundwork for you with beautiful cinematography, backdrops that starkly mimic the sets of Games of Throne. All of these natural aids will go to utter waste if you do not capture it with correct equipment. At Kathmandu films, we put grave importance in quality equipments and even provide hiring service, where you can hire our skilled professionals and equipments for a set a period of time.

Most filmmakers get stumped where to get all the equipment to film their project in Nepal. With over 12 years in the filming industry, Kathmandu Films is your one-stop solution for all your filming needs in Nepal. We provide high-quality equipment including cameras, lenses, tripods, jibs, dollies, gimbals, sound equipment, lighting, drones and everything else that you may need for your project.

 

Filming equipment that we provide includes :

● RED CAMERA PACKAGE

● WEAPON BRAIN w/HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor and items/accessories below (or
equivalent)
○ DSMC2 Standard OLPF
○ DSMC S35 PL Mount 2.0 (Magnesium)
○ DSMC S35 Canon Mount (Aluminum)
○ DSMC2 Sidekick (Woven Carbon Fiber)
○ DSMC2 Side Handle
○ DSMC2 Top Handle
○ DSMC Outrigger Handle
○ DSMC2 Base Expander
○ DSMC2 REDVOLT XL Module
○ RED Pro Touch 7.0” LCS Display
○ Wooden Camera 7.0” Display Shade
○ Wooden Camera wifi sideplate
○ Wooden Camera Easy Riser Plate
○ Wooden Camera Easy Top
○ Wooden Camera LWS Rods Bracket (15mm)
○ Wooden Camera A-Box for wireless audio tap
○ (5) RED 480GB Mini Mags
○ (2) RED STATIONs Mini-Mag (USB 3.1)
○ (2) USB Cable
○ 8 to 12 REDVOLT XL batteries
○ 2 REDVOLT Quad Chargers w/AC Cable
○ DSMC AC Power Adapter w/AC Cable
○ RED Sidewinder

● Arri Clip on LMB Matte Box or equivalent

● Preston or similar Remote Follow Focus setup

● Ikan Thumb Wheel Follow Focus

● Lens package

● Arri Ultra Primes full set

● Canon L Series prime set, and zoom lenses 70-200mm and up to 1000mm

● Filtration

● ND Filter set

● Grad ND FIlter set

● Phantom Flex4k Slow motion camera (we might need this for several shoot days)

● Lens mount for our lenses above (Canon and/or PL)

● Wireless video monitoring system

● Teradek Bolt or better with multiple receivers

Didn’t see what you need in the list? Tell us and we can manage it for you! Contact us at +977
980 101 2432 or email us at [email protected] for more information.

 

 

An investigative project for The US Reality TV Show Celebrity Charity Exposed

Kathmandu Films Collaboration With Lulu Sanders

Kathmandu Films has been providing total film support and service in Nepal since 2007 and we take pride in our flexibility to work to suit all kinds of budget. Services like Line Production, Fixing, Translation, Research, Location, Logistic support and Investigation among others make us a complete and one stop filming service provider in Nepal.

We collaborated with Lulu Sanders from LA, USA filming her reality TV show called ‘Celebrity Charity Exposed’, which was majorly focused on showing what celebrities are doing for charities. The Nepal edition showcased the contributions of Petra Nemcova a Czech model and television host, who tragically lost her fiancé in a tsunami. This event impacted her life greatly and she decided to found the ‘Happy Hearts Fund’, a charity with the aim to help natural calamity- inflicted people all around the world.

 

The Notable Fund Affecting Hundreds

Happy Hearts Fund, in collaboration with All Hands Volunteers, has been building schools all around Nepal, after the country was shaken and devastated by the major earthquake of April 2015. We traveled to Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot, the most affected districts, where we witness the massive impact this project has made. With a shoot schedule of 3 days and constant travelling we were able to capture the essence of the charity by interviewing teachers and students.

 

A Good heart bridges all barriers

There were memorable moments throughout the journey. One such experience was when we witnessed the construction of Shree Bachchhala Devi School in Nuwakot, where volunteers from over 28 countries have gathered to build the school in less that for around 3 months and people from everywhere were wearing traditional Dhaka Topi, during the School Handover Program, immersing themselves into the local culture.

 

Filming Is The Most Prominent Way To Showcase Noble Work

It was great to be part of this project, it was highly fulfilling to know that our filming would help highlight the efforts of so many people, help others appreciate the effort of Petra Nemcova. A lot of filming is educating the masses, we hope that this project did just that educate on the importance of charity work and prompted those who watched it to take action as well.

 

 

How Filming Came To Nepal

The Very Beginning

The making of Nepali films is said to have begun with D. B. Pariyar’s Satya Harishchandra, which was the first Nepali language film to be shot. It was produced from Kolkata, India, and was released on September 14, 1951. Aama was the first film produced in Nepal and was released on October 7, 1964. It was produced by the Information Department of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (now Government of Nepal), directed by Hira Singh Khatri with Shiva Shankar Manandhar and Bhuwan Thapa as the lead actors, who are regarded as the first actors in the history of the Nepali film industry.

 

The Private Banner Films Took Over

The first film to be produced under a private banner was Maitighar, which was released at the end of 1966 by Sumananjali Films Pvt. Ltd. Although being a Nepali movie, it had many Indians contributing toward the making of the film. Mala Sinha had the lead role, along with CP Lohani.

It had special appearances of Sunil Dutt and comedian Rajendra Nath. It was directed by BS Thapa and music composed by Jaidev, a veteran music maestro. It had established Indian singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar, and Manna Dey playback- singing along with the household names of Nepali music, like Narayan Gopal, Prem Dhoj Pradhan, CP Lohani, and Aruna Lama.

 

Royal Nepal Film Corporation (1971)

The government later established the Royal Nepal Film Corporation in 1971 which produced Mann Ko Bandh with Prakash Thapa as the director of the film and Nati Kaji and Shiva Shankar as the music composers. Amber Gurung scored the background music. The film premiered in 1973 in Kathmandu. It was followed by Kumari (the first color Nepali film) in 1977, Sindoor in 1980, and Jeevan Rekha in series. The success of these films opened up an avenue for private parties to enter into filmmaking as an industrial endeavor.

 

The Impact Of Political Instability

The Nepali film industry started to fall down during the Maoist revolution. Fewer films were made with low budgets and even lower performance during that period which resulted in even smaller audiences. In the later years of the conflict, the production and release of Nepali films had come to a standstill with many actors and filmmakers leaving the country in search of work because there were no films being made.

 

The Rise Of The Industry

However, with Maoists coming into mainstream politics by 2006, the Nepali film industry started to develop. Now, more and more films are being made and released. The production companies and people in the industry are enthusiastic about the country’s new situation. Also, the quality of the films being produced is improving, however, in comparison to Bollywood, it still lags far behind and the competition is tough with maximum youths preferring Bollywood and Hollywood to Kollywood. Nevertheless, the production of movies like Loot, Highway, Apabad, etc. that are based on contemporary subjects have good content and presentation. Well, the future of Nepali Film Industry looks prosperous.

 

How Filming Evolved

Even though Nepal does not have a very long filming history, the industry has its own place in the cultural heritage of this country. Most of the Nepali films use Bollywood-style songs and narratives and are shot on 16-millimeter film. In the film industry idiom, Kathmandu, the capital and the center of the Nepali-language film industry, is called Kollywood within Nepal (which is different than India’s Tamil-language film industry, Kollywood, based in Chennai).

 

 

Travel To Nepal? Here Is What You Need (Part I)

Traveling to Nepal can be a rewarding experience if you know the right things to do. Nepal is a travelers paradise, combining golden temples, majestic mountain views, luscious green forests, charming lakes, and rich wildlife.But with the striking beauty of Nepal comes hassles of poor infrastructure, unpredictable whether, unhygienic situations and the food that you may or may not eat in Nepal. With all that’s there to confuse and frustrate you how does one enjoy their stay? Perhaps by following the list below.

 

Travelling With Children? Come prepared.

Children are most susceptible to changes in food and weather. Plus there childlike innocence can have them wondering with glee pretty much anywhere. Therefore, as a guardian it is on you to make protect them.

Be friendly but cautious

Children always help break the ice with strangers and Nepalese are generally friendly. While you may get some odd stares for how you look most Nepalese are respectful and cautious around kids, that being said, do keep a watchful eye cause like any other place, you may find a few people who are not that great.

Eat vigilantly

Moreover, you have to take extra precautions in the light of Nepal’s poor sanitation, street dogs, large crowds, heavy traffic, pollution, bright sun, rooftops, and steep slopes.It may be hard to keep hands clean and you’ll have to keep a firm grip on small children while out and about. If your child comes down with diarrhea, keep them hydrated and topped up on salts – have oral rehydration formula at hand.

Be prepared with the basics

Naturally, you’ll want to travel in greater comfort with children than
you might on your own. In tourist areas, it should be no problem finding food that kids will love to eat. Although, in other places, it might be more challenging. Baby food and disposable nappies/diapers are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara but are hard to come by elsewhere, especially in rural areas. So, come prepared!

Contact Local Experts

As for trekking with the little ones there are plenty of tourist companies that cater especially to families, contacting them will give you assurance and qualified information that could help you be safe while trekking but also have great deal of fun.

 

Know The Climate

Nepal’s is blessed with all four seasons, which means just decided to visit without prior knowledge of which season it would not be fun. Climate varies significantly through the year, with seasons showing themselves up very differently at different altitudes. The pre-monsoon period, generally very hot and humid at lower elevations, lasts from mid-April to early June. The monsoon season itself dominates the period between mid-June and mid-September when travel is difficult but not impossible. Autumn sees pleasant temperatures and dry weather is great for trekking , while winter is generally cool and clear.

With so much of versatility in weather it is best advised to check with your booking agency about the situation and what to expect, also spending some days in the capital and getting the feel of environment along with buying necessary weather specific items help.

 

Budget Well

Your money goes a long way in Nepal. Off the tourist routes, it can actually be hard to spend $30–40 a day, including food, transport, and accommodation. On the other hand, Kathmandu and some of the other tourist traps can burn a hole in your pocket faster than you might expect. Even so, it’s still possible for a frugal traveler to keep to $20 a day in the capital, but the figures can effortlessly balloon to $50 or more simply by choosing slightly nicer hotels and restaurants.

If you like to travel in greater luxury, you should reckon on spending $60–80 or
more per day, mainly depending on the standard of accommodation. You’ll inevitably pay over the odds for things at first, and it may even feel as if people are charging you as much as they think they can get away with, but that’s hardly a market principle exclusive to Nepal. Bargain where appropriate, be aware of taxi trouts but don’t begrudge a few rupees to someone who has worked hard for them.

Many hotels (and most tourist restaurants) quote their prices exclusive of the 13 percent “government” tax (essentially a value-added tax) and charge another 10 percent service charge. No matter how tight your budget, it would be foolish not to splurge now and then on some of the things that make Nepal unique: organized treks, rafting, biking and wildlife trips are relatively
expensive but well worth it.

 

 

 

You have to See it to believe it

Filming The Unique Tradition of The Sky Burial Documentary

 

A thrilling and eye opening experience!

Sky Burial, ever heard of it? Chances are you have not because this practice of excarnation happens selectively in certain regions of Tibet and Nepal, which is why we jumped at the chance to film it when the opportunity came about. Kathmandu Flims is known for their daring, experimental storytelling and there was no doubt that we would not work on this project. Below is an account of what happens when covering just distinct pieces.

 

Warm Hospitality Beats Any Brutal Terrain

So, it began we packed our bags and headed to Upper Mustang, the stone walled region that whispers years of history. We knew going to remote areas and shooting for this story would be challenging and we were pretty spot on with our predictions. The challenges begun from day one has we trudged through the paths to Upper Mustang amidst unpredictable wind and chaotic road maintenance.

 

What got us through it?

Definitely the warm connection we have with the locals, our interpersonal skills have enabled us to connect with foreigners and locals alike making it easy for us to find those willing to help us. The freezing temperature at night felt a little warmer with some local hospitality.

Our practice of always staying prepared helped us too, not going to lie. The contingency plans are always in place when dealing with filming in remote areas of Nepal. Hence, the initial distress of getting on location permits in the border of Nepal and China quickly resolved due to the avid knowledge we have about them which were accompanied by great interpersonal rapport with the professionals.

 

Storytelling Inspires Us

We went above and beyond for clients, and it was worth every effort. Our interaction with the team was very friendly and encouraging one that strived us to perform better. We do not just limit ourselves to the task assigned but as a creative company we suggests way and ideas that could help in the process of storytelling as well.

 

The Resistance And Triumph

Talking about a lost tradition is not easy which is why many of the locals we interviewed were hesitant at first. However, as a filming company one of our main responsibilities is to become as investigative as possible. We used our skills in communication to tap into them, make them comfortable enough to talk about this unique traditions.

While the customers were hesitant, the equipments were another issues, giving in to the cold, lack of electricity and internet. This is when the creatives in our team used their own hacks, waking up early to power equipments and transport to fight the cold. Despite the resistance being able to finish the 5 days earlier to scheduled because of good coordination within the team and our hard.

 

For Filming Everything Is Worth It

KF films definitely got tested in this shoot, but we didn’t let the environment or the unique story overwhelms us, in fact it just made us more creative and tactful. The sky burials shoot was one of the most memorable shoots for us because of all that we learned and all the challenges that we faced, we never shy away from a challenged and this project tested us in every which way. Was it worth all that effort? Always. Quiet ironically the burials came to life with our filming and that is all we hope achieve with our work.

 

 

Challenges for Film Production in Nepal

Film production is a creative and challenging process. Filming through days and nights, under the sun and the rain is no easy job. Pulling the raw footages together and editing them to depict a compelling story is one of the most difficult tasks. There is a much more challenge for film production in Nepal with difficulty in getting permit, lack of resources to play from.

As a film producer, we have always done our best to win over the challenges that present themselves while filming. Whether it’s the weather betraying us, or the difficult locations that have no access to electricity, we have everything covered.

To give you just a tiny glimpse of the challenges that we face while we’re out in the field everyday, we have compiled the following list.

 

Pre-production

Before the actual production, or filming, starts, we have to prepare a number of things before-hand.

Acquiring permits

Permits for filming in Nepal can be differentiated into various types. ‘Nepal Filming Permit’ is mandatory while different other permits are required if you wish to film in national parks or public places.

These permits can be acquired through Home Ministry, Defense Ministry, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Ministry of Tourism in Nepal. So far, Kathmandu Films has made sure to get these permits in time and without problems. As with the political instability of Nepal, it can sometimes be hard to get the permit at all, or very late. WE have always managed to get the permits as per our schedules.

Briefing the crew

At Kathmandu Films, we always manage to pull together the best crew with respect to the timing and schedule. We believe that a happy crew makes the production perfect. We aim to take care of their needs throughout the production phase.

Managing equipment

Only filmmakers know the struggle of locating a misplaced equipment during filming. To avoid just that, we keep track of all our filming gears. We know what equipment we have and which ones of those we actually need for the project. This accounts for an efficient use of the equipement. We also have regular status updates to ensure that our equipment are in the best working conditions.

Transportation

Filming in Nepal, especially outside Kathmandu depends heavily on the availability of transportation. Since the remote areas haven’t been explored for filming yet, it is difficult to take appropriate measures for a hassle free transportation of equipment as well as the crew. Our major focus is to have a well experienced driver who know what kind of vehicle is appropriate for the given route to our destination. For locations like Lo-Manthang, we have a local and well-experienced driver who has knowledge about the area.

Scheduling

The schedule and itinerary is made according to the needs and demands of the client. We also keep our crew’s availability and needs in mind when we plan the project. Usually, the number of days required for the production depends on the location and the content. If it is a new location, research/recce is required to be done for days.

Recce/Research

This has to be one of the most challenging situation that we face in every shoot. If required, our team spends days for research about the location discussed for the shoot. Many factors are taken into consideration, such as the local weather, management of crowd and garbage for the shoot.

 

Production

The production phase requires the right setup of equipment and actual filming procedures. It includes everywhere from the director yelling “Lights, Camera, Action” to “Pack up!”

Equipment setup

For an indoor shoot, it isn’t a lot of hassle. We get the equipment to the location, set it up in a few minutes and can begin the shoot.

But, for outdoor shoot, it can get quite difficult. The main challenge is to manage the sound for the shoot and to keep the background noise as low as possible. While we can’t just go around and throw the vehicles off the road like superman can, or tape people’s’ mouths shut with a duct tape, we still have to manage crowd and the noise in a proper adult-like way.

In cases where we are filming on a public road, it is essential to talk to the local traffic police regarding the shoot and how to continue the shoot without disrupting the entire traffic system. Also, here in Nepal, we can often find garbages dumped on the road. While the government has been trying to implement laws.

 

Post-production

Footages to infrastructure dept

After the production phase, it is required to provide footages to the infrastructure department. This is mandatory as they have to regulate that our work does not go against any values or does any harm to the country and its people.

Editing

This is where the magic happens! Not literally.

The footages are pulled together to form a meaningful film along with special video and sound effects. The editor is responsible for the color grading and correction and to ensure that the sound is in sync with the video.

Marketing

When we make films for clients, we believe that it is our responsibility to make it known among the right viewers. A good marketing strategy according to the content of the film ensures higher viewer rates.

Challenges are always going to be there, but we are always prepared. Years of filming and overcoming the challenges have taught us a lot, but the same experience or knowledge cannot be applied in other shoot, as the scenarios are completely different.

Did we miss out any challenges that you have to go through in your journey of filming in Nepal? We would be very pleased to hear your words!

 

 

Post Earthquake Filming in Nepal

The filming scenario in Nepal changed after the major earthquake of 2015.  While the local film production carried on shortly after, the international crew was seen very less relative to before the earthquake. Sure there were national and international filmmakers filming documentaries about the violent earthquake and its damages to people and properties but Filming in Nepal took a major hit after the Earthquake.

However, there were subtle changes in the filming process and the legal processing for permits and other required documents. Some areas were declared as unsafe and were out of bounds.

Skip to two years later and here we are with our filming adventures through these years to 2018. We are past the 2015 earthquake and can *almost* claim that the filming industry in Nepal is thriving on an international level again. Hundreds and thousands of international filming crews visit Nepal every year to portray its breath-taking locations and typical Nepali aspects in their films.

 

Drones prohibition

Filming with drones without a legal permission has been deemed as an illegal practice in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. The drone permit costs more than the drone itself. At the same time, it is incredibly difficult to obtain any drone permission.

 

Foreign coverage in impacted areas

Most filmmakers, although there weren’t many, who dropped in during the time of earthquake were there to cover the damages in the impacted areas. They were there to capture the stories of the lives of Nepali people and how it changed after the devastating earthquake. Filming in Nepal was greatly affected, yet somehow documentaries were made by channels as prestigious as National Geographic.

 

Assumed to be unsafe

The number of international filmmakers coming to Nepal reduced greatly after the earthquake. While people were back at their lives, doing the normal things, it was still hard for people outside Nepal to believe that it is safe now. However, things have changed in the last 3 years. Hundreds of filmmakers come to Nepal every year to film their projects.

 

Traveling is difficult

Many roads have been obstructed due to the landslides because of earthquake. Some roads have been cracked from deep down while some had large dirt and stones covering all the way. This created difficulty in driving and in some cases, blocked the route to get to the destination.

 

Damaged locations

Nepal is a mix of rich culture and natural beauty. The filming locations in Nepal are many, including but not limited to Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, Mustang, Lumbini and Everest. Some of such locations may have been damaged by the earthquake. However, they are fully safe to film in and retain their originality and beauty.

The earthquake of 2015 was sad and brought changes to our lives and in the filming scenario in Nepal. However, Kathmandu Films had been actively working and filming to bring the stories into light even during the earthquakes. The earthquake shook our country, but we stood strong through it. We filmed for over 90 channels for the coverage of the earthquake in Nepal at the time.

Despite the sadness of the calamity, we had more to add to our knowledge and experience. The hard times make us stronger and today we are more than prepared to help you with your project.

 

 

Filming Locations in Nepal

Are you planning to film in Nepal?

Nepal might be a small, landlocked country but it offers visually pleasing locations for you to shoot your beautiful projects. The lush green forests, silver mountains, ancient monuments, historically and culturally rich heritage, and diverse yet picturesque landscapes make for an exciting location that’s bound to leave your viewers in awe.  

Every year, a number of film crew visit Nepal in search of best locations to shoot their documentaries, commercials, movies and what not. Well, here’s a guide to give you a better insight of the locations that are feasible to shoot in Nepal.

 

Filming inside Kathmandu valley:

Kathmandu valley comprises of three major cities: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur. All these three cities hold to themselves the richness of cultural diversity and heritage that’s beautiful to look at, as is its long history. Well, there are lots of locations within the valley, and we are going to discuss a few of them.

Swayambhunath Temple

Renowned as the Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath Temple rests atop a hill, glancing over the Kathmandu valley. The views are stunning and it makes for a lovely place to just sit and admire as the sun goes down. The local people visit the temple every morning/evening, rotating the prayer wheels as they go around it.

Durbar Squares

There are three Durbar Squares within the valley: Basantapur Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Patan Durbar Square. Each as beautiful as the other, but with their own origin and history. These squares underwent some terrible damages during the 2015 earthquake but most of them have been rebuilt while some are still standing with bamboo or scaffolding support.

Pashupatinath Temple

With Bagmati river on the side, Pashupati temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindu people. Thousands of people come to visit this temple every year, most to worship while some to film. The main entrance to temple isn’t open to non-Hindu people, however, the vicinity of this temple is open to all.

Streets of Thamel

Thamel is one of the most-hyped and touristy spots in Kathmandu.  You can say, it’s the most ‘happening’ place in all of Kathmandu. With its busy streets covered with colorful prayer flags, beautiful “Om Mani Padme Hum” chants coming from the nearby CD shops, there’s just a whole different vibe to Thamel that’s to get from anywhere else.

 

Filming outside Kathmandu valley

The Kathmandu valley holds its charm, we know. And at first thought of filming outside the valley may shake you up: where else would you get to experience such natural and cultural beauty? Well, the answer is everywhere, in Nepal. Once you step outside the valley, you have even better chances of catching those sunlit golden snowy peaks early morning. You have so much to explore and find an ideal location for you to cover your film.

Pokhara

There’s plenty to enjoy in Pokhara: the serene lake reflecting the beautiful Himalayas, adrenaline packed adventure sports or visiting the cultural villages. The ambience of peace and magic this place gives off is truly felt by the people who visit it — the experience is unreal.

Mustang

Mustang was once an old, independent Tibetan kingdom, still retaining its mystical reputation to this day. While Mustang isn’t really on the greener side with lush forests, it’s more of a high altitude desert of rich red and ocher, with deep gorges set against an infinite blue sky.

Everest

Well, Everest is the most popular mountain in the world — afterall, it stands tall at 8847m making it the highest peak in the world. As exciting as filming in Everest sounds, it comes with its risk factors. The average temperature in winter is around -36° and maybe drop down to -60°, while it’s around -19° in summer.

Kathmandu Films makes sure that all your needs are met and permits are managed for a wonderful filming experience in your desired locations.

 

 

Permits in Nepal

Filmmakers wishing to be able to film in Nepal need to have the filming permits first. And where you do get that, you ask?

Government of Nepal – the Ministry of Information and Communications provides foreign film shooting permits in Nepal, of which all the papers and documents will be processed and easily available to you by Kathmandu Films. We help your crew to not just obtain film permits, but also give you advice on tax payment and customs clearance.

Before you request for a permit, it is to be made sure that your film doesn’t demean Nepal or Nepali people’s values or cultures in any way.

The Ministry of Information and Communication grants the permit for the shooting of any kind of TV commercials, documentaries, music videos, feature films, and other films that do not spread unfavorable messages about Nepal.

The filming permit comes with a government-assigned Liaison Officer, who’ll remain with the filming team for the entirety of the shoot and will monitor all filming activities. He ensures that the filming is not impacting the environment, the society or the people in any negative way. The liaison officer holds full authority to suspend all filming activities if s/he thinks it is unlawful or is impacting the country and its image in any negative way.

 

Documents required for Filming Permits

The documents needed to process the permit are:
  • A Letter made by the assigned local coordinator informing the Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit.
  • An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker showing that they have already chosen and hired a local coordinator.
  • An application form.
  • Supporting documents needed for permit consideration:
  • Storyboard for TV commercials
  • Treatment for documentaries
  • Theme (concept) and Lyrics for music videos
    • Details of content and objectives of the programme
    • Presentation for TV programmes.
  • A schedule of filming in Nepal specifying exact dates and locations (for all types of productions).
  • Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.
  • Equipment list with values for custom clearance.

 

Different types of filming permits in Nepal

Different filming locations require different types of filming permits. While the Nepal Filming Permit is mandatory, other permits are supposed to be requested depending upon the location of the shoot.

  • Nepal Filming Permit (mandatory)

This is a one-time permit, which is mandatory regardless of where your location is in the country. This permit is issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

  • National Parks Filming Permit

Nepal has a total of 20 national parks and conservation area that require a separate filming permit and some amount to be paid as filming charge in the location.

  • Heritage Areas Filming Permit

Filming in cultural heritage areas like temples, monuments and other figures need to be endorsed by the municipality or the district office. However, the permit can be suspended anytime should the officers feel the film is rendering harm to the cultural heritage.

  • Public Area Filming Permit

Public area filming permit is endorsed by the local police authority as long as no harm is being done to the public.

  • Private Property Filming Permit

Filming in privately owned properties like hotels and restaurants, cafes, recreational halls, movie halls etc needs to have the permit from the owner himself.

Equipment in Nepal

When it comes to filming in Nepal, there are many factors that come into play for a successful filming. Planning is seemingly easy,  but the production is a difficult job. And with the extreme and complex topology in Nepal, it can make people’s knees shake!

Most filmmakers get stumped where to get all the equipment to film their project in Nepal. With over 12 years in the filming industry, Kathmandu Films is your one-stop solution for all your filming needs in Nepal. We provide high-quality equipment including cameras, lenses, tripods, jibs, dollies, gimbals, sound equipment, lighting, drones and everything else that you may need for your project.

 

Filming equipment that we provide:

  • RED CAMERA PACKAGE
  • WEAPON BRAIN w/HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor and items/accessories below (or equivalent)
    • DSMC2 Standard OLPF
    • DSMC S35 PL Mount 2.0 (Magnesium)
    • DSMC S35 Canon Mount (Aluminum)
    • DSMC2 Sidekick (Woven Carbon Fiber)
    • DSMC2 Side Handle
    • DSMC2 Top Handle
    • DSMC Outrigger Handle
    • DSMC2 Base Expander
    • DSMC2 REDVOLT XL Module
    • RED Pro Touch 7.0” LCS Display
    • Wooden Camera 7.0” Display Shade
    • Wooden Camera wifi sideplate
    • Wooden Camera Easy Riser Plate
    • Wooden Camera Easy Top
    • Wooden Camera LWS Rods Bracket (15mm)
    • Wooden Camera A-Box for wireless audio tap
    • (5) RED 480GB Mini Mags
    • (2) RED STATIONs Mini-Mag (USB 3.1)
    • (2) USB Cable
    • 8 to 12 REDVOLT XL batteries
    • 2 REDVOLT Quad Chargers w/AC Cable
    • DSMC AC Power Adapter w/AC Cable
    • RED Sidewinder
  • Arri Clip on LMB Matte Box or equivalent
  • Preston or similar Remote Follow Focus setup
  • Ikan Thumb Wheel Follow Focus
  • Lens package
  • Arri Ultra Primes full set
  • Canon L Series prime set, and zoom lenses 70-200mm and up to 1000mm
  • Filtration
  • ND Filter set
  • Grad ND FIlter set
  • Phantom Flex4k Slow motion camera (we might need this for several shoot days)
  • Lens mount for our lenses above (Canon and/or PL)
  • Wireless video monitoring system
  • Teradek Bolt or better with multiple receivers

 

Didn’t see what you need in the list? Tell us and we can manage it for you! Contact us at +977 980 101 2432 or email us at [email protected] for more information.

 

 

Filming the Sky Burials Documentary

We were heading towards Upper Mustang for filming the sky burial documentary. Needless to say, we faced a lot of challenges en route, mainly due to road maintenance and unpredictable wind. Funny, some of my friends lost their favorite socks and some other clothes on the first day of arrival at Jomsom and Kagbeni while letting it sun-dry after washing.

Even with direct sunlight during the daytime, there was freezing temperature at night. Nevertheless, the people at the hotel we were staying at welcomed us and our clients with local wine and food.

We faced some difficulties to obtain the filming permits as the location we had chosen was also the border area of Nepal and China. However, we are always prepared for the worst, with backup plans for any challenges that might arise. So, getting the permit was like a piece of cake for Kathmandu Films.

 

Filming better: what inspires us

Our clients were very friendly, which made us proud as well as happy to work harder for them every day. We strive to perform our tasks the best way we can in each day that we work. We open up to them with our creative and new ideas that help us form a good bond with our clients, and it helps us become more positive towards the work that we do.

Further, after the shoot, we set up a few interviews with the local people but they were hesitant to share anything as sky burials was a lost tradition, as well as a very sensitive topic to many.

 

Making our way through the problems

At our selected location, there was neither internet nor electricity. We did have a backup generator but it had troubles starting up due to high altitude and freezing cold. We had to wake up in the middle of the night every day to start our jeep and generator to keep it warm and workable enough to run. After a total of 21 days of the shooting schedule, we finally managed to complete the shoot 5 days earlier, because of good coordination within the team and our hard work.

 

Final thoughts

As a Line Producer and Fixer, I am filled with immense pride and love as I say that Kathmandu Films team is a really lovely team to work with. The sky burials shoot was one of the most memorable shoots for us because of all that we learned and all the challenges that we met. Through this shoot, we along with our clients got to learn about the lost tradition in Nepal, sky burials.

 

 

Google: Polarsteps (Gramafilms)

Algor Lieman is from Gramafilms, a London based creative agency, and production company. When we first signed the contract for this projects, our excitement was leaping out of bounds. We knew this was going to be one of the best filming experience for the whole team. And, we weren’t wrong.

Here’s a walkthrough of our journey of filming for this project from the start!

Sudden change in filming location

Our initial plans were to shoot the film in Kathmandu. But, the plans changed and the next morning, we were all on a bus to Pokhara. We packed everything and filmed along the way. We stopped only for lunch throughout the day. By the evening, we had reached Pokhara and checked in. Just then, it started raining.

 

Filming in the rain

It was still raining the next day yet we decided to film. We were filming on the road on our way to Sarangkot. The back-door of the Hiace was left open all day. Our cameraman, Tiago, was wearing a special harness to film through the open door of a moving van. The roads were narrow and difficult. After a busy day of shoot, we headed back to the hotel for a very late lunch. We then headed to Recce and decided to call it a day.

 

Getting to the White Peace Pagoda

Next day, we headed towards Recce near White Peace Pagoda. We stumbled upon some obstacles along the way. One of the shorter ways to our destination was under construction, so we had to take the longer way. We planned to shoot that day but the weather wasn’t in our favor. On the Recce, we faced roads of dirt and mud, but somehow we managed through it. By the evening, we had finalized the locations to shoot for the next day. We then headed back to the hotel at Sarangkot.

 

The actual filming day!

Finally, the filming day was here!

We woke up early and had our breakfast. It was around 5 in the morning when we left for the shoot. The road to our location was ruined by the rain last night, so, we had to leave our bigger car behind. We took the four-wheel vehicles with us and filmed through most of the way to our location.

We had a warm welcome at Pumdi Bhumdi. The filming went pretty smooth for the day. On our way back, we had a different location planned. We were filming in the middle of the jungle when it started raining again, yet we managed and finished the shoot. We still had to face some obstacles as we were going downhill. Eventually, we reached the hotel late in the evening and called it a day.

 

Filming in the beauty of Damauli

Our next location was much farther from Pokhara. We left early in the morning and reached the riverside of Damauli. And trust us when we say this  — everything about Damauli is beautiful. The rivers running. The beautiful highway. The cool wind. Just about, everything?

Well, we filmed all day by the river and returned to the hotel in the evening. On our way back, one of the vehicles broke down but we had contingencies planned for that. Finally, the whole team united back at the hotel by 10 in the evening. We were all enjoying everything, yet a little sad that it was coming to an end soon. Tomorrow was the last day of the shoot.

 

Cruel weather vs Our persistency

The weather had been cruel to us ever since we started our journey. Yet again, we couldn’t get a proper shot of the Himalayas due to the adverse weather conditions. It was one of the main reasons to shoot in Pokhara: to capture the scenic beauty of the Himalayas.  Nevertheless, we woke up early at 3 in the morning hoping that the haze would clear out. We got to the top of Sarangkot hill by 4:30. We waited for a couple of hours to get the shots we wanted. After some time, we decided to pack and finish it with whatever we had. So yeah, the shooting was finally over!

Headed back to Kathmandu then, and reached by the evening with lots of amazing experiences from the shoot.

 

 

Filming for Lion’s Club – Pieter Miller from Image Base

At Kathmandu Films, we strive to provide the best filming services in Nepal and that sets us apart. We thrive in challenges and make a way through to get the best results. Whether it is days-long shoot or managing filming permits or talking to local people, we do it all and that is why our clients entrust us for their projects.

As of such a case, we had a chance to prove ourselves on an international platform again. Pieter Miller is a producer from Image base, Chicago based video, and event agency. He traveled to Nepal to film some of the projects the local Lions Club in Nepal were participating in. This was for Lions Club International, and a thrilling experience stocked for us in the future. We made plans and the shoot lasted for 8 days in total.  

The onset of filming journey: day 1

Inspection and Introduction

All the equipment had to be checked thoroughly by the Cinematographer himself and one of the specialists from the production company. After inspection, some more equipment was required. We had it delivered in time on the same day.

 

Understanding our location: day 2

  1. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies

It was May 6th, Sunday. The journey started from our hotel to BP KOIRALA LIONS CENTRE FOR OPHTHALMIC STUDIES. All the equipment were already loaded on the vehicle. We started early in the morning at 7. We reached the hospital and was welcomed by the Director Mr. Anand Sharma. He briefed the crew about the institute and after that, we went to scout the premises.

While half of the crew were out scouting, the other half were setting up the equipment for the interview. So when the scouting was over, we started the interview. There were 5 interviews in total. After the interview, we started shooting V-rolls. And that was it for the day.

 

Interviewing students and doctors: day 3

  1. Koirala Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies Rural Clinic

The next morning, we headed to the Insitute for the Rural clinic team. We traveled with the team to Nepal-Korea Friendship Hospital, Bhaktapur. There, we got some interviews with the patient and the doctors who were running the rural clinic. After the shoot at the hospital, we headed for the town of Bhaktapur where Lions club had established an eye care center. There were children coming for inspection and diagnosis there. We shot some V-rolls and had interviews with students and the Doctor who was conducting the treatment.

 

Unfortunate weather and Gurkhali spirit: day 4

Travel to Gorkha and Interview with Engineers (2 Interviews)

Our day started early in the morning at 7, with all the luggage and equipment packed and ready to go. We made our way towards Gorkha, famous as the home to the brave troops of Gurkhali soldiers. However, we stopped to get some lunch in the daytime. As soon as we reached Gorkha, we checked into a hotel a. Since it wasn’t dark already, we decided to look around for a location to shoot the interviews.

Later, we found out that the hotel we had checked in earlier was owned by one of the founding members of Lions Club in Nepal and in Gorkha.  We were supposed to travel for 2 more hours off road for the next day. But unfortunately, we decided not to travel because of the poor condition of the roads and the weather. Luckily, we found a better option to film: the school.

 

A sweet gesture at work: day 5

School shooting interviews and V-rolls

The next day we got up at 7 in the morning and headed towards the school for filming. The students would not be there till 9 so we had a little time. We prepared the equipment and set it in place. We started interviewing the Lions from Gorkha. After the interviews, the first school bell rang. We started filming the classes. It was the usual: the students were studying what the teacher was teaching. After the V-roll we started interviewing students. When we were wrapping up, the school prepared a nice farewell program for us. The whole school was singing songs for us while the principal was handing us a small token of love. We spent the night in Gorkha.

 

Traveling back to Kathmandu: day 6

Travel Back to Kathmandu

Next day, we traveled back to Kathmandu. The weather was nice. The wind was cool. We took a much-needed rest on our way back.

 

An inspirational story: day 7

Mobility Cart Story

We are filming in the streets of Teku for the day. It was for a Mobility Cart story. Specifically, Chatra Bahadur Gurung’s story.

He received the mobility cart from Lion Ramchandra Dahal, who is an amazing guy in himself. Gurung narrates his story of how he received the three-wheeled cart that changed his life, which was very inspiring. After the shoot, we said goodbye to Chatra Bahadur Gurung and head back to the hotel.

 

Done with filming for the project: day 8

Travel to Dhulikhel Lions Club Global Action Team Meeting

We started our day early in the morning, heading towards Dhulikhel where the Global action team meeting was being held. We filmed the whole event and interviewed some of the members of the Global Action team. After the shoot, we headed straight to the airport to drop our clients off.

The whole experience was mesmerizing. Working with international clients always teaches us something we never knew before. It was amazing to work with such a talented crew and to also prove our worth. Even our clients agree on that.

Recce to Mustang

Mustang was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Today, it is an exotic place in Nepal that still retains a mystical reputation. In an unabated search for villages that still performed the sky burial funerals, we discovered a lot throughout the journey.

Sky burial is an ancient Tibetan funeral which has an unusual yet unique process. The corpse is first dismembered. Then it is exposed on an elevated location, as an offering for the sacred vultures.

Well, a sky burial is far from any other conventional kind of ‘burial’. Only a few cultures observe it — for different reasons and in different ways.

Sky burial can come off as shocking to a lot of people; after all, it’s dead bodies being chopped and offered to vultures. But the philosophy and values behind this ritual are simply beautiful and virtuous. “If your spirit has left your body and it could nourish another creature, then it should.”

 

The onset of our journey

It started with a short flight to Pokhara, from where we drove for more than 10 hours to Jomsom.
Jomsom is one of the biggest cities in Mustang district, well known for its relentless winds. Connecting Lower Mustang with the Upper, it’s also one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It’s mostly visited by the majority of people going to the temple of Muktinath as well.

The village close to Jomsom is Kagbeni, which sits at the bottom of Muktinath valley. Kagbeni is famous for people, from all around the country, visiting to perform post-funeral rituals. Yet, this village still has not seen any sky burial for more than a decade.

We then walked for about 45 minutes, crossing the Kali Gandaki river to come upon a small village named Tiri. There we met Chhamba Dukta in Gonpa Gong. He is a Lama who performs sky burials, originally in his village in Dolpa, and in Mustang. He told us that it has been around 10 years since any sky burial. The villagers have settled for easier burning funerals, rather than difficult sky burials.

On his reference, our team headed towards a village, Dhamkar, in Upper Mustang. ‘Dham’ stands for hills and ‘Kar’ stands for red, meaning ‘Red Hills’ in the local language. The lower parts of Mustang have almost shunned the rituals of sky burial. This is mainly because of development of roadways and hiking trails.

 

 

The basis for sky burial

The very first thing to do after a person dies is to determine the method for their funeral. Usually, a high priest looks into the time of birth and death to find out what sign the person is. He determines one of the five signs: earth, water, air, sky, and fire through basic astrology. After ascertaining the sign, s/he is either buried, chopped and fed to the fishes, chopped and fed to the vultures or burned respectively.

 

What exactly happens in a sky burial?

After a Lama determines the process, the body is first tied up and he begins to recite the necessary prayers. Family members join along, beating double-sided drums and chanting prayers. They offer their condolences to the deceased by offering Khada, a religious cloth for farewell. Then, the priest goes around the body thrice, and it’s carried to a place that is specially allocated for the funeral.

Once there, the body breakers chop the body into precise pieces. The tip of the fingers containing the nails are considered to be poisonous to the vultures, so they are burnt along with the head. Once the offerings are ready, the Lama plays Damaru, an instrument crafted from the human knee. This is an invitation for the vultures to glide down and devour the offerings.
It is believed to be a bad omen if the vultures do not feed on the body. It implies that the body is too dirty to eat (ie, the person has sinned), or the rituals weren’t performed correctly. In such a case, the body has to be burnt, which is considered inauspicious, as it had to follow two traditions.

 

Concepts behind sky burial

As described in the traditional Tibetan mythologies, sky burials signify a true act of compassion and charity. The body, which never again serves any purpose, is offered to the vultures to feed on as an alms for the sacred birds.

So, the idea at work here is that if a body that ideally serves no use can sustain some other creature, then why not? After all, it’s important to not waste any opportunity to help other living beings.

One of the other interesting concepts of sky burial revolves around the choice of the animal: the vultures.
A traditional Tibetan mythology indicates that once the vultures are old, they do not fall back to the earth when their time has come. Rather, they keep flying higher until they just disappear into the sky.

And that’s where the name comes from: Sky Burials!

This unique tradition of sky burials is slowly getting extinct, with lesser to none sky burials performed in a year throughout the country. Well, in Kathmandu Films, we believe that it is our duty to explore and document such an intimidating ritual. And to spread beautiful accounts as such to keep the originality and uniqueness of Nepal alive.

 

 

Travel Essentials: Nepal (Part II)

Crime

Nepal is one of the world’s more crime-free countries, but it would be unwise not to take a few simple precautions.

The main concern is petty theft. Store valuables in your hotel safe, close windows or grilles at night in cities to deter “fishing”, and use a money belt or pouch around your neck. Some public bus routes have reputations for baggage theft. Pickpockets (often street children) operate in crowded urban areas, especially during festivals; be vigilant.

If you’re robbed, report it as soon as possible to the police headquarters of the district in which the robbery occurred. Policemen are apt to be friendly if not of much help. For insurance purposes, go to the Interpol Section of the police headquarters in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, to fill in a report; you’ll need a copy of it to claim from your insurer once back home. Bring a photocopy of your passport and your Nepali visa, together with two passport photos.

Violent crime is rare. An occasional concern is a certain amount of hooliganism or sexual aggression in the Kathmandu tourist bars, and late-night muggings do sometimes occur. In addition, there have been a couple of well-publicized armed robberies and sex murders in the national parks on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley. A few Western women have been raped, but most problems come about within relationships with Nepali men – trekking or rafting guides, for instance – not due to an attack by strangers. The countryside, generally, is very safe, though there is a small risk of attack by bandits on remote trekking trails. In the Terai region, there are a number of armed Madhesi groups, but tourists are not targets and you are unlikely to be affected much beyond the odd delayed bus, roadblock or bandh.

There are several ways to get on the wrong side of the law. Smuggling is the usual cause of serious trouble – if you get caught with commercial quantities of either drugs or gold you’ll be looking at a more or less automatic five to twenty years in prison.

In Nepal, where government servants are poorly paid, a little bakshish sometimes greases the wheels. Nepali police don’t bust tourists simply in order to get bribes, but if you’re accused of something it might not hurt to make an offer, in an extremely careful, euphemistic and undeniable way. This shouldn’t be necessary if you’re the victim of a crime, although you may feel like offering a “reward”.

The worst trouble you’re likely to run into is one of Nepal’s all-too-common civil disturbances. Political parties, student organizations and anyone else with a gripe may call a chakka jam (traffic halt) or bandh (general strike). In either case, most shops pull down their shutters as well, and vehicles stay off the roads to avoid having their windows smashed. Demonstrations sometimes involve rock-throwing, tear gas and laathis (Asian-style police batons), but you’d have to go out of your way to get mixed up in this.

 

Drugs

Drugs are illegal in Nepal, but it is impossible to walk through Thamel or any of the other tourist hotspots without being approached by a dealer offering hash. It would be incredibly stupid to go through customs with illegal drugs, but discreet possession inside the country carries relatively little risk. While the drug dealers are often shady characters, they are not generally informants.

 

Electricity

Power comes at 220 volts/50 cycles per second when you can get it: lengthy power cuts (“load shedding”) are a daily occurrence. Smarter hotels and restaurants have backup generators. Tourist guest houses usually offer sockets that accept almost any kind of pin, but the European standard two-pin is the most common.

 

Emergencies

Dial 100 for the police. Hospitals and other organizations have their own telephone numbers for an ambulance, but get a Nepali-speaker to do the talking. Registering with your embassy can speed things up in the event of an emergency.

 

Entry regulations

All foreign nationals except Indians need a visa to enter Nepal. These are free (for 30 days) for nationals of other South Asian Area Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries: Pakistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. All other nationals have to pay for them. Tourist visas are issued on arrival at Kathmandu airport and official overland entry points. At the former, queues can be long, so you may prefer to get one in advance from a Nepali embassy or consulate in your own country. Otherwise, have a passport-size photo at the ready. At the airport, you can pay the visa fee in US dollars, euros, pound sterling or other major foreign currencies. At overland entry points, officials tend to demand US dollars or Nepali rupees.

The fee structure at the time of writing was $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days and $100 for 90 days; all are multiple-entry visas. Fees may change without warning, however, so double-check at immi.gov.np before setting out. Tourist visas can be extended up to a maximum of 150 days in a calendar year: an extension of 15 days or less costs $30; for more than 15 days, it costs an extra $2 per day. Extensions are granted only at the Kathmandu or Pokhara Department of Immigration offices. Submit your passport and one passport-size photo with your application. A transit visa, valid for 24 hours and non-extendable, costs $5.

Don’t overstay more than a couple of days, and don’t tamper with your visa – tourists have been fined and even jailed for these seemingly minor infractions.

It is no longer necessary to have a trekking permit to visit the most popular trekking regions, but you will need the TIMS card, which amounts to much the same thing. You’ll have to pay national park entry fees for the Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang areas. A handful of remote regions are still restricted and require permits to enter.

It’s worth noting, too, that a few sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including the entire city of Bhaktapur, charge entry fees.

Customs officers are fairly lax on entry, but checks are more thorough on departure, and it is illegal to export objects over 100 years old (see Ethical shopping).

 

 

Travel Essentials: Nepal (Part I)

Traveling to Nepal can be a rewarding experience if you know the right things to do. Nepal is a traveler’s paradise, combining golden temples, majestic mountain views, luscious green forests, charming lakes, and rich wildlife.

Like we said, it can be quite a hassle if you do not know the basic travel essentials in Nepal. There are many things to consider: the underdeveloped roads in most parts of the country, relevant unhygienic situations, the food that you may or may not eat in Nepal.

So, let’s cover the most important factors when traveling to Nepal — taking care of your children, the climate, and the cost of staying in Nepal.

 

Children

Kids always help break the ice with strangers, and Nepal can be a magical place for a child to visit. Arranging childcare is easy, and Nepalis generally love kids. However, some children (especially those with fair skin and blond hair) may be uncomfortable with the endless attention.

Parents will, of course, have to take extra precautions in the light of Nepal’s poor sanitation, street dogs, large crowds, heavy traffic, pollution, bright sun, rooftops, and steep slopes.

It may be hard to keep hands clean and gross stuff out of mouths, and you’ll have to keep a firm grip on small children while out and about. If your child comes down with diarrhea, keep them hydrated and topped up on salts – have oral rehydration formula at hands.

Naturally, you’ll want to plan the modest itinerary and travel in greater comfort with children than you might on your own. In tourist areas, it should be no problem finding food that kids will love to eat. Although, in other places, it might be more challenging. Baby food and disposable nappies/diapers are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara but are hard to come by elsewhere, especially in rural areas. Some toys and books can be bought in Nepal, but it’s better if you bring a supply of your own. Carry toddlers in a backpack or papoose – a stroller or pushchair will be virtually useless in Nepal.

Trekking with children is generally a wonderful experience, though it can be logistically awkward if they’re too old to ride in a backpack and too young to hike on their own (though mules or horses can often be arranged).

 

Climate

Nepal’s climate varies significantly through the year, with seasons showing themselves up very differently at different altitudes. The pre-monsoon period, generally very hot and humid at lower elevations, lasts from mid-April to early June. The monsoon season itself dominates the period between mid-June and mid-September when travel is difficult but not impossible. Autumn sees pleasant temperatures and dry weather, while winter is generally cool and clear.

 

Costs

Your money goes a long way in Nepal. Off the tourist routes, it can actually be hard to spend $30–40 a day, including food, transport, and accommodation. On the other hand, Kathmandu and some of the other tourist traps can burn a hole in your pocket faster than you might expect. Even so, it’s still possible for a frugal traveler to keep to $20 a day in the capital, although the figure can effortlessly balloon to $50 or more simply by choosing slightly nicer hotels and restaurants. If you like to travel in greater luxury, you should reckon on spending $60–80 or more per day, mainly depending on the standard of accommodation.

You’ll inevitably pay over the odds for things at first, and it may even feel as if people are charging you as much as they think they can get away with, but that’s hardly a market principle exclusive to Nepal. Bargain where appropriate, but don’t begrudge a few rupees to someone who has worked hard for them.

Many hotels (and most tourist restaurants) quote their prices exclusive of the 13 percent “government” tax (essentially a value-added tax) and charge another 10 percent service charge.

No matter how tight your budget, it would be foolish not to splurge now and then on some of the things that make Nepal unique: organized treks, rafting, biking and wildlife trips are relatively expensive but well worth it.

 

 

Filming in Nepal: History

History of Filming in Nepal

Even though Filming in Nepal does not have a very long history, the industry has its own place in the cultural heritage of this country. Most of the Nepali films use Bollywood-style songs and narratives and are shot on 16-millimeter film. In the film industry idiom, Kathmandu, the capital and the center of the Nepali-language film industry, is called Kollywood within Nepal (which is different than India’s Tamil-language film industry, Kollywood, based in Chennai).

 

The emergence of Nepali film industry

The making of Nepali films is said to have begun with D. B. Pariyar’s Satya Harishchandra, which was the first Nepali language film to be shot. It was produced from Kolkata, India, and was released on September 14, 1951. Aama was the first film produced in Nepal and was released on October 7, 1964. It was produced by the Information Department of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (now Government of Nepal), directed by Hira Singh Khatri with Shiva Shankar Manandhar and Bhuwan Thapa as the lead actors, who are also regarded as the first actors in the history of the Nepali film industry. This was the most important event in history of filming in Nepal.

 

The first private banner film

The first film to be produced under a private banner was Maitighar, which was released at the end of 1966 by Sumananjali Films Pvt. Ltd. Although being a Nepali movie, it had many Indians contributing toward the making of the film. Mala Sinha had the lead role, along with CP Lohani. It had special appearances of Sunil Dutt and comedian Rajendra Nath. It was directed by BS Thapa and music composed by Jaidev, a veteran music maestro. It had established Indian singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar, and Manna Dey playback-singing along with the household names of Nepali music, like Narayan Gopal, Prem Dhoj Pradhan, CP Lohani, and Aruna Lama.

 

Royal Nepal Film Corporation (1971)

The government later established the Royal Nepal Film Corporation in 1971 which produced Mann Ko Bandh with Prakash Thapa as the director of the film and Nati Kaji and Shiva Shankar as the music composers. Amber Gurung scored the background music. The film premiered in 1973 in Kathmandu. It was followed by Kumari (the first color Nepali film) in 1977, Sindoor in 1980, and Jeevan Rekha in series. The success of these films opened up an avenue for private parties to enter into filmmaking as an industrial endeavor.

 

Fall of the industry

The Nepali film industry started to fall down during the Maoist revolution. Fewer films were made with low budgets and even lower performance during that period which resulted in even smaller audiences. In the later years of the conflict, the production and release of Nepali films had come to a standstill with many actors and filmmakers leaving the country in search of work because there were no films being made.

 

The rise of the industry

However, with Maoists coming into mainstream politics by 2006, the Nepali film industry started to develop. Now, more and more films are being made and released. The production companies and people in the industry are enthusiastic about the country’s new situation. Also, the quality of the films being produced is improving, however, in comparison to Bollywood, it still lags far behind and the competition is tough with maximum youths preferring Bollywood and Hollywood to Kollywood. Nevertheless, the production of movies like Loot, Highway, Apabad, etc. that are based on contemporary subjects have good content and presentation. Well, the future of Nepali Film Industry looks prosperous.

 

Want to know more contact us if you require services for Filming in Nepal

 

 

Celebrity Charity Exposed

Kathmandu Films Collaboration

Kathmandu Films begins with the promise of rising to the occasion and delivering the best service to our clients. We value our clients the most and we are very conscious of the fact that building a relationship is the key to success and that can only be achieved through transparent and professional conduct. Kathmandu Films has been providing total film support and service in Nepal since 2007 and we take pride in our flexibility to work to suit all kinds of budget. Line Production, Fixing, Translation, Research, Location, Logistic support and Investigation among others make us a complete and one stop filming service provider in Nepal.

This January, we collaborated with Lulu Sanders from LA, USA for filming her reality TV show called ‘Celebrity Charity Exposed’, which was majorly focused on showing what celebrities are doing for charities. The Nepal edition showcased one such celebrity, Petra Nemcova, who lost her fiancé in a tsunami and founded ‘Happy Hearts Fund’, with the aim to help natural calamity-inflicted people all around the world. Happy Hearts Fund, in collaboration with All Hands Volunteers, has been building schools all around Nepal, after the country was shaken and devastated by the major earthquake of April 2015.

We traveled to Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot, the most affected districts, where the schools are still being constructed, some being on the verge of completion. The shoot was a total of 3 days, with constant travel to different schools filming the progress and interviewing the students and the teachers. Every school greeted the gang of foreigners with garlands and flowers, but so were all the filming crew respected and greeted, showing the hospitality that Nepal is so eminent about. Various musical programs and games entertained the guests who came all the way and have been constantly helping to build Nepal and make it better.

Something that really fascinated all of us was what we saw at Shree Bachchhala Devi School in Nuwakot, where volunteers from over 28 countries have been volunteering to build the school for around 3 months and were wearing traditional Dhaka Topi, during the School Handover Program. Overall, it was a great experience for the filming team as well as everyone who were part of the short but fruitful trip. Kathmandu Films prides itself to be a part of such a wonderful filming experience and take Nepalese cinematics around the world, spreading a positive message. Kathmandu Films welcomes you all to come to Nepal and work with us. Let us fix and film together because your satisfaction is our honor.