Toronto Nepal Film Festival (TNFF), which is being organised annually by a group of Nepali expats residing in Canada, hosted its 2017 iteration in April this year. Although the fest takes place in Toronto, the winners are awarded in Nepal every year. On Wednesday, the winners of this year’s iteration were honored amid a function held in Mandala Theater in Anamnagar in the Capital.This year’s festival saw a submission of 43 films, out of which 14 films were selected and screened at the fest. It is a norm of the film festival to honor every selected film with cash purse—this year, the selected nine short films, of length below 20 minutes—namely, Singha Durbar, Sankalpa, Dadyaa, Kalli, Dhyangro, My Claire, Heaven is Black, 107.2 Mhz, and Maanis Harayeko Suchana—each received a cash prize of Can$ 100. Similarly, selected film of length between 20–60 minutes received Can$ 150 each. And films of feature lenghth received a cash purse of Can$ 200 each.Among which, the film Dadyaa—The Woodpeckers of Rotha, directed by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung, was honoured with the Jury Choice Award, and a cash prize of Can$ 500. Dadyaa, running at 17 minutes, tells the story of an elderly couple who are haunted by memories when one of their friends leaves village without notice.
The film then explores the dilemma the couple continues to live with: to keep living with the memories or to leave the village for good. Prior to this, the film also won the Best Fiction Film at last year’s Kimff, and Special Jury.Award for Cinematography at Sun dance Film Festival in the US. Upon receiving the award, director Gurung said, “Film festivals like TNFF encourages us to make films and make them better.”Likewise, TNFF honored Heaven is Black, directed by Rajkumar Rai, with Public Choice Award, along with a cash purse of Can$1500. Speaking at the event, Sangam Pulami Magar, National coordinator from Nepal, said, “The main goal of TNFF is to encourage contemporary indie filmmakers from the country and provide a platform for filmmakers to share ideas about film making and culture. It has been received well throughout the years and we hope to continue it in coming years.”