You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lesbian Drama ‘Soongava’ Is Nepal’s Oscar Contender

Naturalized French director adds to controversy

HONG KONG – “Soongava – Dance of the Orchids,” a lesbian romance, has been selected to represent Nepal in the foreign-language Academy Award race.

The film’s selection was unveiled Sunday by Laxminath Sharma, a veteran film-maker and member of Nepal’s Oscar selection committee, at an event in Anamnagar.

Sharma revealed that the committee had assessed three other films “Sanguro,” “Badhsara” and “Sirish Ko Phool” before finally selecting the Subarna Thapa-directed picture.

“Soongava” recounts the secret love story between a teacher and a dance which comes to light when the parents of one announce that they have found a suitable boy for their daughter to marry. The all-female romance is seen as a challenge to Hindu traditions.

The film reportedly did little business in Nepal where it was released on Jan 4, 2013 . But it was programmed extensively on the international festival circuit, with stops including Palm Springs, the World Film Festival in Montreal, the Bologna Lesbian festival, the Toronto LGBT festival, the Int’l Hamburg festival and the Int’l Film Festival of Young Directors in France.

Although Academy rules do not require the director to be a national of the submitting country, the director’s citizenship has stirred a degree of controversy in Nepal. Sharma was born in Kathmandu, but is resident in France and recently took on French nationality.

“Soongava” was produced by French companies Rapsodie Production and veteran producer Raphael Berdugo’s Cite Films with Nepal’s Ami Films.

More Film

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of supporting members have terminated in writing agents who are not in good standing with the guild’s new code of conduct. A late Thursday memo  obtained by Variety from the WGA said the termination letters will be delivered en masse on Monday, as many agencies [...]

  • Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    'Last Black Man in San Francisco' Star Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    Jimmie Fails, co-writer and star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” has signed with CAA for representation. The drama, inspired by Fails’ own life, had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge described the film as “a gorgeous and touchingly idealistic [...]

  • Stuck

    Film Review: 'Stuck'

    A stalled New York City subway carriage serves as a toe-tapping musical Petri dish for six socioeconomically diverse souls in the unique stage-to-screen musical adaptation “Stuck.” Sharing a stylistic template with its 2016 left-coast cousin “La La Land” (which it predated Off-Broadway by a good four years), the film’s 2017 copyright suggests a missed opportunity [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content