Subarna Thapa
Nepali Filmmaker

I am Subarna Thapa, a Nepali filmmaker, based in France since 1999. My focus is on fiction, theatre art and culture. I made my first full-length feature film called ‘Sunghava, The Dance of the Orchids’ in 2011.

Through ‘Sunghava’ I got a chance to engage with the British Council for a “Script to Screen” project which worked with young Nepalese filmmakers looking for a platform in this field.

Many candidates submitted their project ideas but only the most motivated were selected. This was because the main criteria for selection were their motivation. It was very important for us to know why they wanted to be a part of the workshop. We picked up about 20 stories, there were almost 20 participants and the workshop lasted for three weeks. In those three weeks, we not only worked on the script, but selected the idea and the most workable dramatic act as well. During the first phase, participants were split into two groups and they worked on: script development, script writing sequences, scenes conflict, and all the other procedures. They then worked towards two fine, sharp and crisp scripts. The second phase was all about shooting, preparation, location hunting and casting. We shot for two days on each script.  After which we segregated the responsibilities of each department, like camera/sound, and gave each participant an individual scene. Everybody had a part to play.

Some of the budding filmmakers were very talented, determined and intelligent. The workshop itself was very interesting in terms of watching how the process of creativity evolves. From participants choosing the landscape and framing it, to me watching how the characters made their journey. Being a filmmaker myself I was monitoring them and, at the same time, learning from them. I believe there should be a mutual process of give-and-take in every collaborative effort. We give something, we get something back. That was the process used in this particular workshop. Individually for me, it was a platform to work with young filmmakers. One day I hope to see their films on the silver screen. Maybe I will be invited to watch their first feature-length film, who knows?