Embassy of India and B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation organized 15th edition of Cinemandu on June 18, 2014 at Nepal-Bharat Library, Nepal Airlines Building in New Road.
This edition of Cinemandu screened critically acclaimed documentary “Journey to Yarsa”. Directed, written, researched and produced by Dipendra Bhandari,
“Journey to Yarsa” bagged the Best Debut Film title in Film South Asia festival and Popular Choice Award in KIMFF, both in 2011.
The documentary closely portrayed the lifestyle of people and the struggle they go through in quest of picking Yarsagumba, also known as Yarsa or Yarchagumba (a rare combination of one of Nepal’s most famous flora and fauna, also known as caterpillar fungus/combination of fungus and larva that offer excellent aphrodisiac properties and is used as one of the most versatile herbal medicines).
“Journey to Yarsa” picks Punimaya Kami, one of the locals of remote setting of Muskiot VDC of Rukum district in Nepal and narrates a real-life story of hundreds like Punimaya Kami in Nepal, who almost give up everything to collect this rare herbal plant, which helps them earn their livelihood.
In not more than an hour, director Dipendra Bhandari explains the harsh day-to-day routine of the people living in the remote villages around the Himalayan and the Himalayan pastures where Yarsa grows every year. The film is based primarily in Musikot, Dulay, Pupal and Syang valley around Rukum.
After the screening, head of Press, Information and Culture – Indian Embassy and secretary of B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, Abhay Kumar shared, “At a time when there are so many news that we are getting to read every day on the whole affair of Yarsa, Dipendra Bhandari’s Journey to Yarsa visually allows us to experience the whole story behind it. I congratulate him for this enormous effort of documenting it.”
Later, director Bhandari interacted with his audience, most of who spoke highly of the documentary and congratulated him for bringing the story of Yarsa behind his lenses.
Veteran actor of Nepali film industry Rabi Giri also congratulated the director and said, “I applaud the thought of the maker in bringing such real and emotional stories of our people living in remote hills of Nepal.”
Director Bhandari concluded, “Without any financial support from any established bodies and without encouragements from my seniors, it certainly was not easy for me to travel to Rukum district and live in that harsh environment for two months documenting this film. But when one makes up his mind on something and is sincere to his work, the universe combines to help him achieve what he aims for.”