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Documentary ‘Dancing in Fire’ being screened at City Hall today

This Nepali documentary based on Hindu cultural tradition 'Khalikhane' has already been nominated for a dozen int’l film festivals


 |  Kathmandu

A Nepali documentary, ‘Dancing in Fire’ is being screened at City Hall in Kathmandu today (Thursday).

According to Ramesh Khadka, the director of the documentary, it will be screened at 12:30 pm.

'Dancing in Fire' which delves into the Nepali tradition of 'Bayu Utarne, Khalikhane,' a ritual of Hindu Community in Nepal, has already been nominated for a dozen international film festivals.

Set in the Khadka village in Jitpurphedi of Changunarayan Municipality, Bhaktapur, this documentary vividly deals with a ritual that is performed to bring salvation to the souls of those who have died unnaturally or violently and are believed to be wandering spirits, according to Director Khadka.

American Anthropologist Alfred Pach, who has been doing research on this Nepali tradition ‘Bayu Utarne, Khalikhane’ for the last four decades, is the producer of this documentary.

The theme of the documentary is based on a very belief that if a member of a clan dies unnaturally, he/she turns out to be a wandering spirit, according to the Hindu tradition. Their soul is given salvation through a shamanistic method by invoking the wandering soul into a relative and making him dance in the fire and speak up for his/her unfulfilled wishes.

Premiered in the Ethno International Film Festival held in Paris in March, this documentary has been nominated for the Cannes World Film Festival, another renowned film festival in France. Similarly, it has also been nominated for the Brandenburg International Film Festival in Germany. The documentary is being screened at City Hall today, the second day of the Kathmandu International Film Festival which kicked off on Wednesday (May 29) in Kathmandu, after participating in various international film festivals.

Earlier, it received an Outstanding Documentary Award in the Singapore International Film Fair, the Best Documentary Award in the Swedish International Motion Picture, and the Best Documentary Award in Phuket International Film Festival. Similarly, this documentary has also been premiered at the Druk International Film Festival, Bhutan, Dubai International Cine Carnival, and the South Asian International Film Festival Florida.

This documentary will also be screened in the Film Society of Summit, New Jersey, in coming June, 2024 and Nepal-American International Film Festival to be held from June 20 to 23, according to Khadka.

Researcher Alfred said that the vibrant tapestry of Nepali cultures, teeming with fascinating human experiences, inspired him to produce this film. "Nepal's richly diverse cultures, overflowing with captivating human stories, fueled my passion to create this film," said Alfred.

The unique Nepali tradition which remains unknown to many people around the globe has enticed him to direct this documentary, said director Khadka. Meanwhile, he expressed happiness with the acclaim it earned in the international arena. 


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