7 Nepali feature films that shone globally  

Nepali feature film

Lately, Nepali feature films have been in the news both nationally and internationally thanks to their selection in prestigious international film festivals coveted by filmmakers worldwide. Despite facing significant resource constraints, Nepali Nepali feature film have successfully held their own against productions from countries with substantial investments in the film industry.

This success has demonstrated to many Nepali filmmakers that with adequate investment, they can elevate the Nepali film sector to unprecedented heights. The participation of Nepali Nepali feature films in major global festivals has ignited hope among directors, actors, and the entire Nepali film community.

Here is the list of seven Nepali feature films that have gone global, participating in various globally acclaimed film festivals. 


Directed by  Min Bahadur Bham, Shambala was selected to compete in the Berlin International Film Festival 2024. Shambala is the first Nepali movie to be selected in the main competition of the Berlin International Film Festival.   

The storyline of Shambala revolves around an expectant mother from the highlands who ventures on a journey with her husband’s younger brother in search of her husband who has left her.

The film was filmed at altitudes ranging from 4,200 to 6,000 meters in Dolpa, a district in Karnali. The script was a collaborative effort between Bham and Avinash Bikram Shah.  

Gaun Aayeko Bato (A Road to A Village)

Gau Aaeko Bato
Nepali feature film
Courtesy: Busan International Film Festival

Gaun Aayeko Bato (A Road to A Village), directed by Nabin Subba is a Nepali feature film which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last year’s September. 

Subba’s movie portrays how conflict makes inroads into the relationship between a father and his son after a road track is opened in their village.

Set against the social backdrop of the indigenous Rai community, the movie features artists like Dayahang Rai, Pashupati Rai, Prasana Rai, Keshav Rai, Sumitra Rai, Raj Thapa and Prem Subba among others.


Nepali feature film

Highway, directed by Deepak Rauniyar, was screened in the panorama category of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. The story of a movie revolves around a man from Kathmandu and his wife who have been trying unsuccessfully to have a child. 

The man travels to the mountains of eastern Nepal to seek help from a miracle healer. The healer indeed has a magic potion for him but tells the man he must get back to his wife within 36 hours. 

The movie was also screened at Locarno International Film Festival in 2016 and Fribourg International Film Festival in 2017. 

White Sun (Seto Surya) 

Nepali feature film

White Sun is another globally success movie by Deepak Rauniyar.  The movie won the Interfilm Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2016. The movie also won the Silver Screen Award for Best Film at the Singapore International Film Festival. 

The movie depicts the story of an anti-regime partisan (Dayahang Rai), who confronts physical, social and political obstacles after returning to his remote mountain village in Nepal for his father’s funeral. 

The Red Suitcase 

The Red Suitcase

The Red Suitcase directed by Fidel Devkota was selected for the 80th Venice Film Festival. The Nepali film, which portrays the impact of foreign employment in Nepali society, was selected for the festival under the horizon category. 

The Red Suitcase is the first Nepali film completely made by a domestic production group to be selected for the Venice Film Festival. The film features artists like Saugat Malla, Bipin Karki, Pravin Khatiwada and Shristi Shrestha among others.

Kalo Pothi 

Kalo Pothi (The Black Hen), directed by Min Bahadur Bham won the Best Film award at Venice International Film Critics’ Week — an independent section within the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.

Kalo Pothi revolves around the story of two close friends Prakash and Kiran, and their affection for a hen, whose eggs just might make a difference to Prakash’s impoverished family. When the boy’s father sells the bird, the chums desperately attempt to raise funds to buy it back. 


Directed by Nabin Subba, Numafung, the 2001 movie was selected for the Fukuoka International Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival.  

Numafung is the story of a young Limbu girl who struggles with cultural traditions, the impact of local medical practices on her life, and the effect of her actions on her community. 

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