‘Every film we do is a reflection of our personal stories’

Award-winning filmmakers Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet on their cinematic journey, their creative process, future projects and why they like to stay away from the limelight—even after achieving so much.


by :Ankit Khadgi Published at : November 8, 2020  Updated at : November 9, 2020 06:56 Kathmandu

Since the release of their first short film, The Contagious of Apparitions of Dambarey Dendrite, in 2013, Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet have been on a creative roll. Over the years, they have swiftly moved from television to advertising to music. Their current medium of expression is cinema.

Currently working on their first feature film, The Whole Timers, which was picked at L’Atelier de la Cinéfondation at 2016’s Cannes Film Festival and developed within the Jerusalem International Film Lab, the duo have been regularly screening their work at prestigious festivals like Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Busan and others.

Their second film, Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha, grabbed the special jury award for cinematography at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Likewise, their recent short film, The Big-Headed Boy: Shamans and Samurai, is also being screened at the International Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival, which is going to be held from November 16.

In an interview with the Post’s Ankit Khadgi, the creative duo talk about their cinematic journey, their creative process, future projects and why they like to stay away from the limelight, even after achieving so much in their filmmaking careers. Excerpts:

The two of you have been part of films for years now. How has the overall experience been like?

Bibhusan: We have been working together for the past 10 years. Our overall journey has been filled with struggles, as it always has been a hurdle to get financial resources for our projects due to which there have been difficult and exhausting times as well. Sometimes, we wonder about how we have been able to financially sustain ourselves and create cinema all these years.

Pooja: Yes, every project has been an experience filled with struggles. Whenever we work on a new project, it feels like we again have to face another uphill struggle. However, to be honest, these struggles have been learning lessons for us, as we believe that if we didn’t endure these struggles, we wouldn’t have that hunger to make movies and express what we want to.

Ankit Khadgi

Ankit Khadgi is a Culture and arts reporter for The Kathmandu Post. He previously worked for The Himalayan Times.