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A Year of Cold

Min Bahadur Bham, Catherine Dussart

Nepal, France, Norway, Singapore, Myanmar [Burma]

synopsis

As per the polyandry custom of Himalayan Nepal, 22-year-old Pema is married to 28-year-old Tashi and to his two younger brothers: Karma, a monk, and Lakpa. A month after the marriage, Tashi leaves for the trade in the mountains, promising that he will return in a few months. Pema is left with Lakpa, but he soon leaves for India, in search of a better life.

Amidst tiring fieldwork in the harsh and barren landscape, Pema finds out that she is pregnant with Tashi’s child.

A couple of months later, Tashi’s friends return from the trade, but Tashi is not among them. Now Pema must find one of her husbands, in order to give an identity for her future child. She goes to the monastery and begs Karma to leave the monastic duty and formally accept her as his wife. He declines but promises to help her look for his older brother.

Pema and Karma embark on a difficult journey deep in the Himalayas retracing clues to Tashi’s footsteps. The journey gradually liberates Pema and gives her the strength to take her destiny in her own hands.

intention

In the pristine landscape of Nepal, beauty prevails. However, beneath the serene beauty of rural mountain life lie patriarchy, discrimination, marginalization and social injustice.

This story focuses on the vulnerable position of a rural young woman from the Himalayan villages chained to ancient laws of polyandry, in which a woman married to a man is also married to his brothers. As a filmmaker from this region, I have always questioned this custom and how the identity of a woman is dependent on her husband(s). Hence, I wanted to explore a protagonist whose husbands are missing under various circumstances and how, as a result, she and her future child’s identity are exiled.

The story will be rooted in the context of the harsh life in the Himalayan mountain village, layering economic pressures of sustenance with the complexity of the rural socio-politics to depict a physical and philosophical journey of a woman crossing the picturesque yet dangerous mountain ranges in a bid to give herself and her child an identity.

budget, distribution & sales

A Year of Cold is the second feature film of Min Bahadur Bham. The script was selected for Cannes’ Cinéfondation Residence and the Nipkow Programm in Berlin. It participated in the Asian Project Market 2017, winning the SORFOND Award, as well as in Locarno Open Doors 2018, where it won the ArteKino International Prize. In 2019 the project also won the SORFOND Production Grant. The budget amounts to € 600.000, from which 65% is secured thanks to a mix of soft funds, minimum guarantees, private equity and equipment sponsorships. We have co-producers attached from France, Singapore and Myanmar, along with distributor minimum guarantees from Station 5 Films in Nepal and Les Acacias in France. Both of these distributors also handled Min Bahadur Bham’s previous film "The Black Hen". Currently, the project is in financing stage and we are seeking potential sales agents, distributors and post-production support. The main locations and cast have already been confirmed and we are aiming for principal photography to start during Spring 2020.

videos

Married under polyandry customs, pregnant Pema searches for her missing husband in the harsh Himalayas of Nepal.
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Min Bahadur Bham

Scriptwriter, Film Director, Production

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Catherine Dussart

Production

production notes

original title
Chiso Barsa

directed by
Min Bahadur Bham

produced byShooney Films
Baluwatar - 4, Kathmandu



Shooney Films
44600, Kathmandu
Nepal, Nepal

in co-production with
CDP – Catherine Dussart Productions – France
Ape&Bjørn – Norway
Potocol – Singapore
Green Age Film Production – Myanmar

total production budget
€ Euros. 515,000