March 18 – 29
At Tower City
Only CIFF members can login. Join now for enhanced web features, discounts and dibs on tickets, advanced mailings and more!join
Events + Updates
April 11, 2013 | posted in Filmmakers
For Nepali filmmaker Deepak Rauniyar, trips on the highway are no simple matter.
Since the end of the ten-year civil war in Nepal, which took more than 13,000 lives, an uneasy quasi-peace has reigned. But in spite of the presence of a "Comprehensive Peace Agreement," the conflict never really ended. It just shifted from military violence to civil disruptions, in the form of the "bandh."
"'Bandh' means shutdown," Rauniyar explains. "If a group, an organization or a party is 'unhappy' and wants to demand something from the government, the first thing they do is to shut down the major highways which connect the capital, or a road, or a city, or the whole country!"
The former journalist has been caught up in several bandhs. "One of these was 57 hours long with no food or water; I even witnessed two people being killed. When vehicles were allowed leave around midnight of the third day, they drove over the people sleeping in the road in a rush to escape."
That experience, and many other incidents like it, inspired his film, which follows the occupants of a bus that has been caught up in a bandh.
"I thought that a bus would be a great 'vehicle,' literally, for the film," he says, "because it's one of the few places where you get a cross-section of Nepali society. And as the onion is peeled for each character, you begin to see that people who are normally considered 'marginal' in the society actually are not necessarily that marginal, and that the 'normal' people, are not all that normal. That we're all struggling in our own ways. In that sense, I wanted to use differences as a way of helping people recognize what is common in each other, as a path for healing this very wounded society."
Rauniyar found his way into filmmaking from an unusual direction: journalism.
"In 2005, I was working as an editor in a national daily newspaper for the arts page," he explains. "I often had arguments with filmmakers who furiously called about the bad reviews their films got, as they normally were bad copies of Hindi or Korean films. These conversations often ended with them challenging me to make films myself. So I started to get interested in filmmaking.
His initial forays into short films were encouraging enough that he embarked on a full-length feature, and "Highway" is the result. "I want to contribute to creating a new independent movement in Nepali cinema, and to inspire other young filmmakers in my country."
What advice does he have for young filmmakers? Don't get too caught up in the technology. "Focus on the story that your heart is willing to tell!"
--Anne M. DiTeodoro and Lara Klaber
Download Related PDF [1.8 MB]
Check out the latest festival highlights and goings on in the print edition of The Daily.
We're thrilled to report #CIFF39 alumni and winner of the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award For Best Film, BECOMING BULLETPROOF (Zeno Documentary) will screen Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd at the The Cleveland Institute of Art's Cinematheque! Full info: http://www.cia.edu/cinematheque/film-schedule/2015/05
9 days ago . Link
Between Two Films.
CIFF 38 Daily Buzz Day 13 Wrap Up
Meet the Filmmaker with Michele Josue, Judy & Dennis Shepard from "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine"
CIFF40 :: Save the Dates
CIFF40 will take place March 30 - April 10, 2016 at Tower City Cinemas and neighborhood screening locations!
Become A CIFF Member
We have five different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!