Nepali Film industry is still an emerging industry. But yet some beautiful movies with fabulous stories are also made in the Nepali Film industry. The Nepali film industry is also known as Kollywood. The Nepali Film industry does not have a very long history, however, the industry itself has made a space in the cultural heritage of the country. Often, in Nepal, films are referred to as “Nepali Chalchitra” which translates to “Nepali movies” in English. The industry largely includes the movies made in various local and regional languages of Nepal, such as in Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Limbu, Doteli, etc.
Every year a few hundred movies are only made in Kollywood. As in Nepal, Bollywood and Hollywood movies have high influence and more audience than Nepali movies. Some people have watched thousands of foreign-language movies but have only watched a few of the Nepali movies in their entire life which can be counted on the fingers.
So this list is definitely for those people who want the best Nepali movies to watch. And most importantly audiences won’t have to regret that they wasted almost three hours of their precious and important time of life, of course, the money also, by watching an unpleasant movie with a bad storyline as well as worst acting. So this list will keep you away from it and shows you the masterpiece of the Nepali Film Industry.
As with time, the Nepali movie industry is getting better. It is not that there were always bad movies or the Nepali film industry will always make bad movies and will bring bad actors. As in recent times, there are actors like Daya Hang Rai, Nischal Basnet, Najir Hussain, Deepak Raj Giri, Kedar Prasad Ghimire, Priyanka Karki, etc who have done the mesmerizing performances in movies and won the hearts of their audiences. These actors are upgrading the standards of Nepali movies and are also able to bring more people to Cinema Halls to watch Nepali movies. The craze for these actors is enormous in Nepal.
Best 10 Nepali Movies Ever
As this list is about the Top 10 Movies Ever made in the Nepali Film industry, we have included the old and new Nepali movies which were blockbuster of their time as well as critically acclaimed making them Superhit as well as the blockbuster of all time.
Director: Neer Bikram Shah
Released Year: 1984
Running Time: 183 min
Cast: Harihar Sharma, Krishna Malla, Madan Krishna Shrestha, Hari Bamsha Acharya
Basudev is a 1984 movie directed by Neer Bikram Shah. It is a presentation of Binod Chaudhary, the richest person in Nepal, under the banner of Manakaman films. The movie is about a teacher named Basudev Kattel who is suffering from poverty and seeks his friend named Kumar (Neer Bikram Shah) than he realized Kathmandu is filled with corruption.
The movie is based on the story “Kattel Sir Ko Chotpatak” written by Dr. Dhurba Chandra Gautam. The lead actors of the movie Krishna and Sharmila are the real-life couple also. It was also the debut film of lead actor Krishna Malla. Sharmila Shah featured his opposite in the movie who later became Sharmila Malla after marrying him.
The movie Basudev was a super hit movie of its time. It had some of the ever-green songs which were also hit. One of the evergreen songs is the song Yatri in a voice of Robin Sharma which is the poem written by Laxmi Prasad Devkota. The movie features heartwarming dialogues, intense acting, evergreen songs, a perfect combination to be a Superhit movie. It is one of the best movies ever made in the Nepali film industry.
Director: Tulsi Ghimire
Released Year: 1997
Running Time: 168 Min
Cast: Hari Bansha Acharya, Madan Krishna Shrestha, Anjana Shrestha (Subba), Nir Shah
Story: Modnath ‘Prashrith’
The Nepali movie ‘Balidaan’ is directed by Tulsi Ghimire under the banner of Pashupati Records. It was the superhit as well as the first movie of Cinema Nepal featuring the comedy duo MaHa Jodi (Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bamsha Acharya).
Balidaan is a 1997 movie that is based on the time of the Maoist revolution in Nepal. The title of the movie translates to the ‘sacrifice’ in English. It is one of the most successful and surely good movies of all time. The movie Balidaan increases the patriotism in the viewers, depicts the great love for their mother and motherland.
Balidaan was one of the critically acclaimed movies which had indigenous aesthetics and a more realistic approach for Nepalese audience. This is one of the best movies that every Nepalese must watch.
Director: Nabin Subba
Screenplay: Nabin Subba
Story: Kaziman Kandangwa
Based on: Karobar Ki Gharbar
Music: Nhyoo Bajracharya
Cinematography: Raju Thapa
Release Year: 2004
Running Time: 110 mins
Language: Limbu and Nepali
Numafung is a 2004 Limbu language film directed by Nabin Subba. The movie portrays the culture and tradition of the Limbu community. It was screened at the Thirteenth Finnish Indigenous Film Festival. Anupama Subba, Niwahangma Limbu, Prem Subba, Alok Nembang and Ramesh Singhak played the lead characters of the movie.
Numafung word in Limbu language translates to “beautiful flowers” in the English language. The shooting of the movie took place in Panchthar of Nepal, and Sikkim and Assam states of India.
The movie shows the story of a young Limbu girl’s struggle with traditional practices and culture. It also depicts the changing lives and ways of the Limbu people, an ethnic minority residing in eastern Nepal.
The movie is about the impact of traditional medical practices on her life, and the effect of her actions on her community. The young Limbu girl, Numa, represents the struggles in the lives of many other young Nepali women, which are torn between fulfilling their desires and cultural traditions.
Numafung has bagged two International awards. It was awarded the Best Runner-Up Movie Award, 2003 in International Film Festival held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Numafung was selected among 123 movie entries from 36 countries in the film festival. Numafung also won the Audience Choice Award in Bijul International Film Festival, France.
Director: Tulsi Ghimire
Produced by: Kanchenjunga Films
Released date: 1989
Running Time: 147 minutes
Lahure is a 1989 Nepali film written and directed by Tulsi Ghimire under the banner of Kanchenjunga Films. The cast of the movie includes Shrawan Ghimire, Tripti Nadakar and Tulsi Ghimire. Ranjit Gazmer composed the music of the film and cinematography of the movie was done by Binod Pradhan. The shooting location of the movie was mostly at Namchi, South Sikkim.
Lahure movie is based on the story of brave Gurkha soldiers of Nepal and the sacrifices they and their families made. The movie so had some of the evergreen and Superhit songs. “Birta Ko Chino Bir Ko Santan” was sung by Narayan Gopal and the “Pahada Ko Mathi Mathi” was sung by Narayan Gopal, Asha Bhosle. The most popular song of that time “Chiya Bari Ma” was sung by Deepa Jha. And “Basa Hai Ama” was also a popular song of Lahure movie, “Sawane Jharima Tyo Gaun” was sung by Asha Bhosle, a legendary playback female singer of India.
- Darpan Chaya
Director: Tulsi Ghimire
Produced by: Shrawan Ghimire
Written by: Tulsi Ghimire
Cast: Niruta Singh, Dilip Rayamajhi, Uttam Pradhan, Tulsi Ghimire
Release date: 2001
Running Time: 147 min
Darpan Chaya is a 2001 romantic drama Nepali movie directed by Tulsi Ghimire. Darpan Chaya translates to The Illusory Mirror in English. It is produced by Shrawan Ghimire under the banner of Siddhanta Films and written by Tulsi Ghimire. The lead roles in the movie were played by Dilip Rayamajhi, Uttam Pradhan, and Niruta Singh, alongside Laxmi Giri, Tika Pahari, and Jeetu Nepal. A love triangle between two best friends was the plot of the movie.
Tulsi Ghimire broke his records with this Nepali blockbuster movie. As of 2016, Darpan Chaya was the highest-grossing movie with a net worth of Rs 15 crore in the Nepali Cinema. The record of Darpan Chaya was broken by Kohinoor in 2014 only after a decade.
Over the years, the love story of two best friends that are shown in this movie as the love triangle is still relatable to younger generations. This college romance has become a Superhit with its love triangle story. However, more than the love triangle story, the heart touching plot took away all the credits and made its audience cry.
As every Tulsi Ghimire movies, this movie also has hit songs. This movie gave us one of everyone’s favorite songs “Lahana le jurayo ki” by Sadhana Sargam, as well as the dance of Niruta Singh, which was well appreciated and loved. At the box office, Darpan Chaya grossed Rs 7 crores, surpassing Tulsi Ghimire’s classic movie Kusume Rumal (1987) and became the highest-grossing Nepali movie of all time.
The movie features the combination of romance, comedy and emotional scenes which are perfectly balanced making the movie interesting to watch and certainly won’t let you get bored.
Director: Bhusan Dahal
Writer: Prashant Rasaily
Cast: Nima Rumba, Saugat Malla, Deeya Maskey, Hanif Mohammed, Pooja Gurung
Cinematography: Bidur Pandey
Release Date: January 6, 2008 (Hyderabad International Film Festival), January 11, 2008 (Nepal)
Running time: 130 minutes
Kagbeni is a 2008 Nepali movie directed by Bhusan Dahal. This movie was also the directorial debut of Bhusan Dahal. Kagbeni is loosely based on The Monkey’s Paw, a 1902 horror short story by W. W. Jacobs. The movie’s name was taken from a tourist place Kagbeni which is in the Kali Gandaki valley, a 2-hour side trek from Muktinath.
Two characters which were old friends, Krishna and Ramesh meet after many years on their way towards home. On the way, an old hermit gives them “a monkey’s paw” that has some magical power that can grant wishes. And the movie revolves around how the paw changes everyone’s life.
This movie can be considered a masterpiece ever directed by any Nepali director.
Kagbeni portraits the lifestyle and social images of a northern rural part of Nepal. A series of beautiful images of Nepali culture and nature is beautifully shown by the director. With an amazing story, the movie was able to get 7.3 ratings out of 10 in IMDb.
The story of the movie tried to show that you need to pay for what you get. As the lives of the characters in the movie had more trouble than happiness, and the tagline of the film was “be careful what you wish for”. The film received very good reviews from the critics. Kagbeni was selected in Shanghai International Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival, and Hyderabad International Film Festival.
Director: Nischal Basnet
Screenplay: Nischal Basnet
Cast: Saugat Malla, Dayahang Rai, Karma Shakya, Praveen Khatiwada, Sushma Karki, Uttam Neupane, Bipin Karki
Cinematography: Purushottam Pradhan
Release date: 13 January 2012 (Nepal)
Running time: 121 Minutes
Budget: NRs 30 lakhs
Box office: NRs 5.6 crore
Loot is a 2012 Nepali crime thriller and heist movie written and directed by Nischal Basnet. The movie stars mostly the young emerging talented actors from the Nepalese film industry. Saugat Malla, Karma Shakya, Dayahang Rai, Prateek Raj Neupane, Reecha Sharma, Sushil Raj Pandey, Srijana Subba, Sushma Karki, and Praween Khatiwada were in the lead roles in the movie. The title of the movie “Loot” means “steal”.
The movie is about the central character named Haku Kale (Saugat Malla) who doesn’t want to live his life in poverty anymore. So along with four other people, he plans to rob a bank in Kathmandu to get rich quickly.
This shows the contemporary Kathmandu City of Nepal where five ordinary guys try to rob a bank to find quick ways to get rich.
This crime action movie Loot was also the most successful movie at the box office by becoming the movie with the highest gross collection in the Nepalese Film industry.
It is also one of the few crime action genre movies that make it up to the top in the Nepalese film industry. This movie not just became Super Hit and blockbuster but became a path setter. Loot set its own identity, the kind which is very far from fading away. The movie Loot also has a Superhit dance song “Udhreko Cholli Mero” sung by the very popular singer Indira Joshi and Nischal Basnet.
- Pashupati Prasad
Director: Dipendra K. Khanal
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 135 min
Pashupati Prasad is a 2016 Nepali film about the struggle in the life of a person who is under poverty after the devastating earthquake.
This movie is about a man named Pashupati Prasad who struggles in the Kathmandu city to pay off his father’s debt that he inherited after his father died.
He meets with the different people in Kathmandu city. Some of the people whom he met in Kathmandu City love him, appreciate him for his kindness and some of them dislike him in every moment. The story of the movie is about Pashupati Prasad who is a kind person with a huge heart but few people always bring obstacles in his way.
This movie is a sentimental movie that will certainly make the audience to drop tears at the end of the movie. The role of the protagonist played by Khagendra Lamichhane in the movie is highly appreciated by the audience. The movie was also successful to bag many national awards.
Pashupati Prasad has 9.5 out of 10 IMDb rating and also have a great review in leading national daily, Himalayan Times.
This is also one of the most critically acclaimed movies. Pashupati Prasad bagged a total of 12 awards out of 20 nominations. The awarded categories were from the best actor, best actor in a negative role, best screenplay, best story, best director to the prestigious of all best movie of 2016.
The struggles in the life of Pashupati Prasad, a man who is doing different things in Kathmandu city to pay off his debts but the society itself is a hurdle for the poor man to pay off his debt and to have a good income to make a living. This 135 minutes long movie is the perfectly directed, acted and with a sentimental story of a person but as well as has comedy scenes. The movie Pashupati Prasad was also selected along with The Black Hen for Oscars.
- Chhaka Panja
Director: Deepa Shree Niraula
Producers: Deepa Shree Niraula, Deepak Raj Giri, Kedar Ghimire
Written by: Deepak Raj Giri, Kedar Ghimire, Jeetu Nepal
Screenplay: Deepa Shree Niraula
Cast: Priyanka Karki, Deepak Raj Giri, Kedar Ghimire, Shivahari Poudel, Barsha Raut, Aaryan Sigdel
Cinematography: Purshottam Pradhan
Production Company: Aama Saraswati Geeta Devi Films
Release date: 9 September 2016 (Nepal)
Running time: 2h 16m
Budget: 85 lakhs
Box office: 16.52 crores
Chhakka Panja is a 2016 Nepalese dark comedy-drama film directed by Deepa Shree Niraula. This movie was the directorial debut of Deepa Shree Niraula. Chhakka Panja movie features Priyanka Karki, Deepak Raj Giri, Jeetu Nepal, Kedar Ghimire, Buddhi Tamang, Shivahari Poudel, Barsha Raut and Namrata Sapkota in the lead roles. The film has received highly positive reviews for its story, screenplay, performances, humor, and social setting.
The film suffered due to the piracy problems as the movie was leaked on Facebook. Due to the piracy of the movie, the international screening of the Chhakka Panja was highly affected. Still, the film was able to become the “All Time Blockbuster “ and is also the 2nd highest-grossing Nepali film of all time.
The records of this movie were later overtaken by Chhakka Panja 3, the third part of this movie. Two sequels of the movie are made that are Chhakka Panja 2 and Chhakka Panja 3, both of them were also commercially successful. These commercial successes of all sequels of Chhakka Panja have made this movie the highest-grossing Nepali movie franchise.
The movie Chhakka Panja shows the story of five friends Raja (Deepak Raj Giri), Saraswoti (Jeetu Nepal), Magne (Kedar Ghimire) and Buddhi (Buddhi Tamang). Raja is a rich person but illiterate and only tries to enjoy life to a full extent. He always tells his friends to do not get married or do any job. However, Raja secretly used to have affairs with married women. But later, Raja gets married to Champa (Priyanka Karki), and the story takes a serious turn.
The movie is a comedy movie as well as depicts the social problem of Nepali society. Almost all the cast of the movie were renowned comedians of Nepal. The story is based on the problem that arises in society when the young people of the country are going to gulf countries for work. The Song Purba Paschim Rail by Rajan Raj Shiwakoti and Anju Panta was one of the most popular songs of the movie.
Director: Joes Pandey
Story: Binod Paudel
Cast: Shushank Mainali, Deeya Maskey, Dayahang Rai, Buddhi Tamang
Release date: 2013
Running Time: 120 Min
Saanghuro is a 2013 Nepali movie directed by Joes Pandey. The term Saanghuro translates to narrow in English. The movie shows the problems that the newly married couple had to face to find privacy due to the settlement of the family in a single narrow room.
Saanghuro portrays the struggles that have to be faced by a newly married couple in a slum every day in urban Nepal.
The movie shows the psycho-social conflict of characters that creates unusual circumstances and raises unsolved questions. The story revolves around the lower-middle-class family living under poverty in an urban slum. Poverty has shown as part of their lives.
The lead character Krishna (Sushank Mainali) is a paperboy, and his mother (Aruna Karki) works as a sweeper. Krishna falls in love with Kamala (Deeya Maskey) a domestic worker to a rich family, and the two marry. The film portrays the difficult situation that the newly wedded couple has to face in the married life due to the constant presence of the mother in their shared room in the slum.
Some honorable mentions not listed here are the Kabbadi Kabbadi series, Hostel Series, The Black Hen, Soongava, Kusume Rumal, Talakjung Vs Tulke, Jhola, Muglan. The Nepali film industry is getting better, so we can expect that the upcoming new movie will also be able to become a blockbuster movie. New technologies, high definition cameras, VFX, etc are also being used in Nepali movies to uplift the standard of Nepali films.