Indigenous film Lomba (The Leadership) has won the Best Film award at the Nepali Indigenous Film Festival, currently ongoing in New York, US. The film also won at two other categories—Best Director and Best Costume—along with a cash purse of NRs 100,000. Written and directed by Anil Budha Magar, Lomba which brings a seldom-told story from the Himalayas, had received six nods at the Festival, making it the film with the highest number of nominations. In Nepal’s popular culture, the word ‘sheep’ is often used ironically, to refer to a simpleton, who instead of coming up with their own original ideas follows what they have been told.This idea has been derived from the way the sheep are herded in the upper reaches of the country: Whenever shepherd has to transport the herd of sheep from one place to another, they have to appoint a ‘leader’ sheep, while rest of the sheep by default follow suit. With Lomba, director Magar brings this practice to the screen.
“Set in the Himalayas, Lomba tells the story of the selection of a next sheep ‘leader’ following the demise of an erstwhile ‘Lomba’. Selecting a Lomba and training it often happens to be a grueling task for shepherds. Which gives the film its main conflict,” director Magar said. Lomba is director Magar’s third feature. Prior to this, Magar directed Gaaula Gothalo (2012), Tukreko Mutu (2012); a short Raithane Gyan Binako Jeevan (2013) and a documentary film Pahichan ko Khoji (2014). Lomba features actors such as Janak Budhamagar, Maitya Gharti Magar, Dhana Rupi Budhamagar, Tira Budhamagar, Shambu Pun Magar, Ram Bini Budhamagar, and Surat Pun Magar, in the lead roles. Along with Lomba, the film festival hosted the screening of a total of seven feature films—Helukbu (Limbu), Krisha Gautami (Newar), Mairimo (Gurung), Sumnima (Rai), Mem Tabamhi (Tamang), and Sherada—and 24 short films.