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Nepal has selected Bulbul as its submission in the international feature film Oscar category.
Binod Paudel’s debut feature stars Swastima Khadka, who plays a woman truck driver battling myriad challenges, from patriarchy to health care, as she struggles to make a living in the country’s capital city of Kathmandu. Her troubles are compounded because her husband, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia, faces difficulties in sending her money, throwing light on the impact of migration on women who are left behind by their husbands that seek employment away from home.
Bulbul which was released in the country in February, also stars Mukun Bhusal. Bulbul. The film picked up multiple honors at the country’s National Awards, winning the best director prize for Paudel and the best actress trophy for Khadka.
Paudel’s credits also include the screenplay for 2013’s award-winning Saanghuro.
Nepal has scored just one nomination at the Oscars, for Eric Valli’s Himalaya (1999), which was the country’s first submission in the foreign-language category. Nepal’s 2017 entry White Sun featured Danny Glover as one of its executive producers. In all, the country has submitted 11 films over the years, including last year’s Panchayat.
The 92nd Academy Awards are due to take place Feb. 9, 2020.
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