(From left) Avinash Gurung at the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan in Darjeeling on Saturday; Bimal and Asha Gurung in the audience. Pictures by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Feb. 23: At the Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan, another Gurung made a debut of a different kind yesterday.
Bimal Gurung’s son Avinash’s first film — Biteka Pal (The Past Moments) — was screened in one of the four halls of the Bhavan. It was the first show of the Nepali film in Darjeeling. The screening was a private one as all 400 people in the audience were invited for the show.
Gurung Senior, who held his first GTA Sabha meeting in 2012 in another hall of the Bhavan, was there with wife Asha for the screening.
The film was released in Nepal on January 10 and has made around Rs 1.25 crore.
Gurung and Asha were all praise for their 24-year-old son.
“I am watching a film after ages and I liked the movie. I found the story interesting. I feel there is always scope for improvement. My responsibility ended after providing Avinash education and it is now up to him to stand on his own feet,” Gurung said.
Avinash said mother Asha encouraged him to try working in films. “My father was also there for me. However, he had no role behind me landing this offer. I want to stand on my own, without my family’s influence.”
Avinash is the protagonist of the film, which revolves around a love triangle, with a few songs and dances.
The film features actors from Nepal Keki Adhikary, who is the heroine, and Babu Bagoti. Several actors from Darjeeling — Bimala Thatal, Mahendra Pradhan, Hemraj Baraily, Rajesh Rajak, Gaurav Bhandari, Arju Shankar, Nora Moktan — and an actress from Sikkim, Gita Ruchal, also had roles.
Asked if he had trained as an actor, Avinash said: “When I was in school, I, had taken part in musical productions but once I decided to take up acting seriously, I did a 27-day crash course under directors and choreographers in Nepal.... I now want to pursue my career seriously as this exposure has given me the confidence to face the camera.”
Producer Rajesh Ghatani of the Nepal-based Big Production House, said: “We spent around Nepalese Rs 1.8 crore (Indian Rs 1.12 crore). The film was released in Nepal on January 10 and so far the box office collection has touched Rs (Nepali) 2 crore (Indian Rs 1.25 crore). It is turning out to be a success.” The screening here was organised by Big Production House.
In India, the film will hit the theatres in March.
“We are at present completing the formalities such as obtaining the censor certificate to run our film in Indian theatres,” Ghatani said.
“The film has already sold its rights for screening in the US, Australia, the UK and Europe. The show will be screened in 12 other countries,” he added.
Ghatani has paired with director Suraj Subba Nalbo for the film after their hugely successful film Bato Muni Ko Phool (The Flower Under the Road) in Nepal.
The films are of different genre and audiences have so far liked both our work,” Ghatani said.
Subba said that 95 per cent of the shooting for the film was done in Darjeeling.
“The rest has been shot in Kathmandu,” he said.
The film has been shot at Chowrasta, Tiger Hill, Jamuni and in Darjeeling and Kurseong towns.
Avinash studied in St Joseph’s School (North Point) in Darjeeling, Himali Boarding School in Kurseong and went to St Joseph’s College in Bangalore.
After his debut performance, Avinash has landed another role in a Nepali film, the details of which have not been disclosed.
“He has been signed one more Nepali film which is being directed by another director from Nepal,” Ghatani said.