HONOUR: NEFTA honours comedians Hari Bansha Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha.
By Usha Wagle Gautam
Nepal’s prestigious NEFTA Awards 2015 ceremony was attended by about 13,000 fans on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Asian Town.
Organised by the Nepal Film Technicians’ Association (NEFTA) in association with International Artists’ Forum-Qatar (IAF), the eighth edition of the awards was inaugurated by Nepalese Minister of Information and Communication Dr Minendra Rijal. Charge de affairs at the Nepalese Embassy in Doha Mani Ratna Sharma and Nepal Film Development Board (FDB) Chairman Raj Kumar Rai attended the programme as chief guests.
Who’s who of Nepalese cinema fraternity attended. More than 70 artistes including legendary comedian duo Madan Krishna Shrestha and Haribansa Achaya; actors Neer Shah, Aryan Sigdel, Nikhil Uprety; Guinness Record holding eight-year-old director Saugat Bista; actresses Keki Adhikari, Priyanka Karki, Sanchita Luitel, Nikita Poudel, Rijju Shrestha, Ashma Dahal, Basundhara Bhusal, Ramila Acharya, Samjhana Pokhrel, Karishma Manandhar and Richa Sharma; directors Narayan Puri, Bharat Shakya and Bishwesh Shrestha; singers Rajesh Payal Rai and Uraj Chaulagain attended.
The function was the first of its kind in the Gulf region. The programme itself was broadcasted live on Ekantipur for the Nepalese audience across the globe.
The function started with the Nepalese national anthem, followed by a welcome song performed by Madhu Lama, who finished third in the Nonresident Nepalese Singing Idol 15 contest. Soon after, Roshani Rai, Rubina Lama, Yasoda Basnet and Kanchan Rai performed the next song. Dinesh Limbu, winner of Nonresident Nepalese Singing Idol 11, performed a patriotic song.
A band of dancers — Tek Rasaili, Mohan Thapa Magar, Debendra Pun Magar, Sita Thapa and Mahili Thapa — performed a folk Salaiju dance choreographed by Jerry Rai. This was followed by a performance featuring 30 dancers from UNI Dance Group, Nepali Cultural Family, IAF, and Nepali Cultural Centre.
The awards ceremony started after these initial dance performances. Jury members Narayan Puri, Bharat Shakya and Bishwesh Shrestha handed over the list of winners to the organisers. Shrestha said it was tough to select winners as everyone was on equal footing, yet some deserved to become winners with marginal difference in their scores.
Actress Karishma Manandhar, actors Saugat Malla and Hemanta Karki came up on stage to announce the winners for the categories of best story, best screenplay, best dialogue, best makeup and best dress.
The best picture award went to Sabin Bastola for Sunpani, the best screenplay award went to Pasang Lama for Jhigrana, best dialogue award went to Khagendra Lamichhane for Talakjung versus Tulke, best makeup waard went to Dipu Poudel for Mala, and the best dress award went to Min Rana for Seto Baag.
Actress Priyanka Karki, actor Neer Shah, Nepalese Football Team (Qatar) President Sanjeev Ranabhat and Vice-President Rajan Shrestha came up on stage to distribute the awards for the categories of sound mixing, best art direction, best fight direction, best background score and best dance direction.
Uttam Neupane bagged the award for best sound mixing for Jerry, Anjan Gajurel for best art direction for Kohinoor, Roshan Shrestha for best fight direction for One Way, Manoj Kumar KC for best background score for Mala, and Kabi Raj for best dance direction for Hawaldar Suntali.
Qatar-based Nepalese entrepreneurs Abdul Basid and Prabin Gurung, actress Basundhara Bhusal and actor Nikhil Uprety distributed awards for the categories of best music arrangement, best song, best playback singer (female), best playback singer (male) and best lyrics.
The best music arrangement award went to Olmoda Upreti for Jerry, best playback singer (female) to Rajina Rijal for Nai Nabhannu la 3, best playback singer (male) to Uraj Chaulagain for November Rain, best lyrics to Arjun Pokhrel for Stupid Maan, and the best song award to Krishna Hari Baral for Kohinoor.
Awards for the categories of best comedy artist, best child artist, best character actor, best character actress, best actor in negative role were awarded by actor Aryan Sigdel, Raj Kumar Rai, Ramesh Rayemajhi and Keshav Dhakal.
Subash Thapa was given the best comedy actor award for Birkhelai Chinchhas, Sangam Bista won the best child actor award for Love You Baba, Subin Bastola won the best character actor award for Sunpani, Surya Mala Khanal won the best character actress award for Sunpani, and Anup Bikram Shahi bagged the best actor in negative role award for Hasiya.
Actress Keki Adhikari, Anil Keberia, Ajay Drijuga, Subash Chand and Raju Thapa came up on stage for the categories of best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best debutant actor, best debutant actress, best editor and best cinematographer.
The best supporting actor award was given to Salon Basnet for Aawaj, the best supporting actress award went to Chultim Gurung for November Rain, the best debutant actor award went to Hassan Raja Khan for Albida, the best debutant actress award went to Anne Sharma for Jerry, the best editor award went to Sujendra Poudel for Aawaj, and the best cinematographer award went to Sahiladar for Jerry.
Uttam Gurung, Samyam Puri, Binaya Shrestha and Nikita Poudel came up on stage to distribute awards for the best debut director, best indigenous movie, best actor and best actress.
The best debut director award went to Ram Babu Gurung for Kabaddi, the best indigenous film award went to Mpoo Deurali, the best actor award went to Khagendra Lamichhane for Talakjung versus Tulke, and the best actress award went to Richa Sharma for Talakjung versus Tulke.
Jitendra Pandey, Mahesh Dhungana, Santosh Shrestha, RK Sharma and Hari Bahadur awarded the best popular actress, best popular actor and best film awards. Priyanka Karki bagged the award of best popular actress, Aryan Sigdel bagged the best popular actor award.
In his acceptance speech, Sigdel thanked the audience for loving his works and inspiring him to do better. Priyanka Karki started her career from Kollywood and is the most popular actress in the Nepalese tinsel town. She said she was in Qatar for the fourth time, and getting an award for popular actress was a proud moment for her.
The categories of best director, best film and jury award were distributed by Minister Dr Minendra Rijal, Charge’ d’ affairs Mani Ratna Sharma, and legendary comedians Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya. The best director award went to Nischal Shrestha for Talakjung versus Tulke, best film award went to Talakjung versus Tulke and the jury award went to director Rambabu Gurung for Kabaddi.
NEFTA also honoured comedy actors Hari Bansha Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha for their contribution to Nepalese film industry for more than four decades.
Actresses Anne Sharma and Richa Shrestha performed a dance during the award ceremony. Singers Tara Prakash Limbu, Ram Lamichhane and Bijaya Yakha also performed during the function. Father-daughter duo Gajit Bista and Sangam Bista performed a dance about parental love and affection. Likewise, popular singers Uraj Chaulagain and Rajesh Payal Rai performed some of their hit songs.
IAF honoured Saugat Bista, eight-year-old child prodigy from Nepal, who has set a Guinness World Record for directing a motion picture I Love You Baba at such a tender age.
Legendary Nepali actor Neer Shah enacted a scene in which he showed Nepal as a beautiful country of kaleidoscopic mountains, legendary warriors, birthplace of Lord Buddha, and so forth. Likewise, legendary actress Basundara Bhusal essayed a brave Nepalese woman.
Actress Karishma Manandhar performed an act about the recent earthquake of April 25. In her act, she inspired all to work to rebuild the country.
The award function was hosted by popular VJ Naresh Bhattari and artistes Keki Adhikari, Richa Sharma and Nikhil Upreti came up the stage from time to time to assist Bhattarai.
The NEFTA award was sponsored by International money Express, Ooredoo, Civil Homes, Luckey Jewelers (Bandana Sharma) and Pigeon Engineering Trading and Contracting Company.
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