ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Script Development Fund

2017 Script Development Fund

LIST A Year of Cold
Category AFA Project
Project A Year of Cold
Director Min Bahadur BHAM
Country Nepal
Director's Profile An award-winning filmmaker from Nepal, Min Bahadur Bham graduated in filmmaking and literature, and has a master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy and Political Science. His short film, The Flute (2012), was the first Nepalese film presented at the Venice International Film Festival 2012. He was a participant of the Berlinale Talents 2013, and the Asian Film Academy 2013, and was awarded the Dongseo Scholarship Fund.
His feature directorial debut, The Black Hen (2015), was the first Nepalese film presented at Venice Critics’ Week and was awarded Fedeora Award for the Best Film 2015. It was a huge box office success and also the official Nepalese entry for the Academy Awards 2016, in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
He has also produced films that have screened at various international film festivals, including Venice, San Sebastian, Busan, Locarno, Tokyo, Seattle, and Montreal.
Based in the hidden laps of the Northern Himalayas in Nepal, the film follows the story of a young village girl, Pema (19), a Tibetan refugee, who is forcibly married to three brothers according to the local custom of Polyandry. After the wedding, Tashi, the oldest husband, leaves Pema alone at home to go trading, and disappears in the high mountains bordering Tibet. The younger husband, Karma, a monk, spends his life in anticipation of taking a journey of great honor with his master, Rinpoche. And, when the youngest husband, Tshering, arrives home from a trading trip to India with a new wife, Pema, now pregnant, finds herself without a family or a home.
The story follows Pema and Karma as they travel on a journey across the roof of the world to find her lost husband, Tashi, and bring him back. Along the way, they discover the meaning of love and belonging. Both find an ever-deeper connection, in the material world and also spiritually, and begin to realize and understand that the purpose of their journey is bound up with the fate and karma of life. In the end, Pema learns to overcome numerous hurdles put in her way by her physical condition and the natural environment, as well as by her companion. The journey shapes her into a strong woman who learns the meaning of love, compassion and sacrifice.
Director's Note
I never tired of admiring the beauty of the pristine Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. However, beneath the natural beauty hide dark undercurrents; cultural, political and natural forces that can shape human lives into unique forms.
As a filmmaker, it’s a personal thing for me to present the tale of an innocent, young girl, forcibly married. It was fascinating growing up and witnessing my female friends getting married to multiple partners (brothers in the same family), and their changing lives made me question their experiences of the practice of polyandry.
The protagonist of my story is a Tibetan refugee in search of a family and a home. This story is about love, family, compassion and sacrifice - all struggles that a woman must go through.
In today’s world, where people have to leave their homes in search of a better life, themes of survival, unity and compassion are ever more present. Strangely enough, this tiny nation has a very long history of different cultures melting into each other. I am fascinated by how a story of people lost within these mountains can involve themes that resonate across the whole world.
Still Cut