The Covid situation has put filmmakers under pressure to maintain distance while working, and choices of locations that provide ample space, has also been a consideration.
“The film industry is reeling under the impact of the pandemic. The last few weeks have been vibrant as some people in the fraternity have started filming again,” says Ram Babu Gurung, who directed the Kabbadi trilogy. “We’re doing safety drills so that filming and audience arrangement in the theatres can be safe. With the vaccines coming, we have newfound hope.”
As filming for December Falls gets underway in Pokhara, for production manager, Bishnu Prasad Mainali, the priority has been to ensure safety and comfort of his 60-member crew.
“Pokhara was our choice because it’s scripted, but also because of the logistics. At a time like this, we have to think safety in living arrangements for the unit,” he says. When working from ‘outdoor locations’, it is also a time to bond as a team and Mainali says there’s something about Pokhara.
Pokhara is known to offer a variety in terms of locations, both urban and rural.
“Visually, Kaski has diverse beauty, and tourism has also provided for better infrastructure than other places. And for some of us, we want to film closer to familiar community,” says Gurung. “Natural beauty enhances cinematic aesthetics. But besides the lakes and mountains, villages are close by. What more could a producer want?”
Pokhara, called the lake city by some, is also seen as being at the heart of inspiration.