Nepal’s Top Talent Join Hands for a Groundbreaking Film
Nepal’s film industry is embarking on an audacious journey with the production of its first-ever transgender-focused feature film, ‘Gunyo Cholo: Coming of Age of a Girl.’ The film has drawn together some of the country’s most acclaimed actors, including Najir Husen, Sanchita Luitel, and Bishal Pahari. Najir Husen, one of the country’s leading actors, steps into the shoes of the protagonist, Gulabi, in this much-anticipated movie.
Gulabi, born into a traditional, patriarchal family, is the only son of a retired Army General. As he grapples with his identity in his early years, Gulabi finds himself at odds with his father’s expectations of pursuing a military career. The revelation of Gulabi’s desire to transition into a transgender woman incites a furious reaction from his traditional father, leading to his expulsion from his family and village. To survive, Gulabi reluctantly embraces a life of dancing and prostitution in Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu.
Cultural Significance of ‘Gunyo Cholo’
The title ‘Gunyo Cholo’ draws upon an age-old Nepali tradition. When a girl reaches the age of seven or eight, she dons the “gunyo cholo”, a traditional outfit consisting of a cholo (top/blouse) and a sari-like skirt, complemented by jewelry. The act of wearing a Gunyo Cholo signifies her transition into womanhood.
Behind the Scenes
This emotionally charged trans story is helmed by Nepalese female Writer/Director Samundra Bhatta, with production by Aakash Budhathoki and award-winning V. Vansay Zanubon from Colorado, USA. The film is a result of a cross-continental collaboration between “Vzion Entertainment” (USA) and Nepali production company “The Sky Ocean Entertainment,” aiming to bring this moving narrative to audiences worldwide.
A Word from the Producer
V. Vansay Zanubon, the award-winning producer, expresses his conviction in the project, stating, “I love great stories, and I was genuinely touched after seeing the first rough cut, which moved me to tears. This is a heartfelt, genuine transgender story that everyone should experience; I’m sure that it will move you as it did me, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with a wide audience.”
Music and Sound
The film’s score is being crafted by award-winning composer Marcello De Francisci, known for his work on Alexander Payne’s five-time Academy Award-nominated film ‘Nebraska,’ Natalie Portman’s ‘Jane Got A Gun,’ and the acclaimed feature documentary ‘Samsara’. De Francisci’s collaboration with Golden Globe winner Lisa Gerrard, known for her work with Hans Zimmer on Ridley Scott’s, ‘Gladiator,’ augments the anticipation for this groundbreaking film.
In Production and Beyond
Shot amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal, from its idyllic terraced farmlands to the majestic snow-capped Himalayan peaks, ‘Gunyo Cholo: Coming of Age of a Girl’ promises to be a visual feast. The film is currently undergoing post-production in the United States and Canada, with a global release slated for early 2024. Stay tuned for this groundbreaking portrayal of a transgender journey set against the backdrop of Nepal’s rich cultural tapestry.