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Feb. 20, 2024

Nepali Film Making History in BIFF

Nepali film set to make history at Berlin International Film Festival: “our cinema is ready to compete.”

Shambhala, a Nepali film, is poised to create history at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival (BIFF). This marks the first time a Nepali film will be screened in the festival’s competition.


The film revolves around Pema, a pregnant woman residing in a remote village in Nepal’s Dolpa region. Pema finds herself in a polyandrous relationship with three brothers. When one of her husbands goes missing, and the village questions the legitimacy of her unborn child, Pema embarks on a search mission through the harsh Himalayan terrain with another of her husbands. This journey becomes an "odyssey of self-discovery and liberation".

Director Min Bahadur Bham brings Shambhala to life, offering a glimpse into the life and culture of the remote mountain areas. The film features dialogue in Nepali and Tibetan languages, providing an authentic portrayal of local and indigenous communities. Bham’s commitment to storytelling from non-urban settings sets this film apart from commercial Hindi cinema1.


As the curtain rises on the Berlinale from February 15 to 25, Shambhala stands as a jewel in the crown of Nepal’s burgeoning film industry, bridging the gap between commercial success and critical acclaim. This milestone achievement reflects the resilience and creativity of Nepali cinema, echoing the spirit of exploration and cultural authenticity.

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