Queer Screen film-reviews Festival September 19th.

We are very excited about SOONGAVEA: DANCE OF THE ORCHIDS playing at Queer Screen film-reviews Fest on September 19th, at 6:30pm Event Cinemas George Street. Fiona Holdsworth from LOTL, interviewed the director Subarna Thapa –

Fiona – Subarna Thapa, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your remarkable film-reviews, Soongava: Dance of the Orchids.

Subarna – It’s my pleasure and it’s really nice of you that you appreciate Soongava which means a lot to me and my crew.
Fiona – You have recently directed, written and appeared in the film-reviews, Soongava: Dance of the Orchids. What was your inspiration for the film-reviews?
Subarna – What I believe is: A film-reviewsmaker must have something to say through his/her movie. A movie must reflect the circumstances of our society- I wanted to bring out the cruel reality and fact of our Nepalese society of our current day. And at the same time raise the voices of these minority people living in oppression. Beyond all, I wanted to portray a relationship between two human beings, in our Nepali socio-cultural set up, gender and sex was not a matter for me!
Fiona – What challenges did you encounter in the creation and production of the film-reviews?
Subarna – First of all it was a big dilemma to find a producer to produce. I knocked every single door to materialize this project. After one and a half years of struggle, believing in what I intend to do, all my hopes and challenges seemed to be falling down like a card house. At one point I was hopeless and closed my eyes, which was aiming at the horizon that I wanted to achieve.  My strength was still alive then I took a huge decision in my life, I decided to produce Soongava on my own so I sold my house to finance it without thinking the consequences that could occurred in future. 50 days of shooting, I wore different hats like; writer, director, producer. As I 'm based in France, time and geographical aspect was an obstacle in terms of financial aspect. Soongava was born and now I'm facing all challenges of my life, still fighting and hoping to recovery my investment.
Fiona -The film-reviews is based around the relationship between two young women from very different backgrounds who are trying to deal with oppressive, conservative social norms. How similar are the experiences of the protagonists to those of LGBT identifying people in Nepal?
Subarna – SOONGAVA is not an autobiographic film-reviews. After completing the script, realizing it is a real story of those two protagonists. Which was a most valuable compliment that I got from public and LGBT community. I did a lot of research, meeting people, reading about them magazines and papers. In big cites like; Kathmandu, Pokhara there is a sort of tolerances but it is horrible in villages and countryside. To look at our current society and it’s so called modern mentality I picked two families based in capital to point out the contrast of our current situation and stand.
Those two families portray middle class and lower middle class. They have their own social value and norms in terms of their cast and ethnicity: Traditional/Conservative.
Fiona – Nepal is a country of polarity – on the one hand, the country legalized homosexuality in 2007, they are considering recognizing same sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities in the new Constitution. On the other hand, Nepal continues to be a largely traditional country. How are these themes explored in the film-reviews?
Subarna – Yes, Nepal has legalized homosexuality in 2007. But in practical way its doesn't work! Its written but the majority ignores what was said. And Soongava deals with those individuals who have no tolerance. Tolerance is a word that come to my mind while talking about these minority who are looking for their identity. Soongava doesn't provoke the issue but it evokes the reality of our country. Its a very intimate story, between two individuals who have holy passion and interest in each other theyre like ''sisters'' who met each other for a chunk of their life and bring changes for each other- discovering themself and their real identity.
Fiona – The film-reviews, which is your directorial debut has been well received, winning the Special Jury Award at the Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay film-reviews and Video Festival and was selected as the official Nepalese entry for the Best Foreign Language film-reviews at the 2014 Academy Awards. Why do you think this film-reviews has resonated with so many people?
Subarna – I think the simple narrate, a simple story of a common man of our society and it is at the same universal as well. It was made with a lot of commitment and I gave my honesty, simplicity, and respect for those individuals, my protagonists. Soongava came out not just a love story but a lovely story. And worldwide public had Rendezvous with Nepal in completely new way that they ignored till now!
Fiona – What do you think is the future for LGBT rights in Nepal?
Subarna – As I mentioned in film-reviews, there is a scene in TV news after the arrest of the two protagonists and they got released with help of Human Rights group, one of of militant declares: “The society is much more powerful than any single individual. If we want to be heard then we should come together .”Maybe these minority's voices can resonate in our holyland and government’s policy, societies’ mentality and above all the « RESPECT » will determine the future of LGBT in Nepal. But Nepal has progressed and I'm sure as time passes thing will be better and better. For example we can take hope in Europe or other continents, as they passes through same circumstance. I'm positive.
SOONGAVA: DANCE OF THE ORCHIDS will be playing at the Queer Screen film-reviews Festival on the 19th of September 2014
For tickets visit: Queerscreen