What Dhorpatan-No Winter Holidays team has to say?

Dhorpatan-No Winter Holidays

What would you do if your entire village abandoned you for a whole, freezing winter, with no companionship save for the presence of the other wife to your dead husband? Set amidst the high altitude of the Nepalese Himalayas, No Winter Holidays records life for Ratima and Kalima as they work to look after their village during a harsh and unforgiving season. Both in their seventies, they gradually come to accept each other’s presence, aware that surviving in this climate depends on their relying on each other. Stunningly shot, capturing the full magnificence of the mountain landscape while never losing focus on its subjects, Rajan Kathet and Sunir Pandey’s film is a fascinating portrait of rivalry, loneliness, old age and womanhood.

Rajan Kathet (Director, Producer)

Rajan is a filmmaker based in Kathmandu with experience in both fiction and documentary films. He graduated from the European Masters DOCNOMADS program (2014-2016), and he has further honed his craft through participation in several highly regarded industry programs, including the Berlinale Talents (2017) and Global Media Makers LA Residency (2021). His short fiction film, “Bare Trees In The Mist (2019),” premiered at numerous prestigious film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.

“No Winter Holidays,” his first feature documentary as the director and producer, has completed post-production and is poised to make its mark on the film festival circuit this spring. The project was made possible through the support of the DMZ Docs Industry grant and the HAF/WIP Documentary Award. It also participated at forums such as Docedge Kolkata, Whickers TV and Documentary Pitch (finalist) and the Marche du Film. In addition to filmmaking, Rajan is dedicated to supporting film education, regularly contributing to the KIMFF DocLab at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival. Through his involvement in local film schools and filmmaking workshops, he is helping to cultivate the next generation of filmmakers.

Directors of Dhorpatan-No Winter Holidays

Sunir Pandey (Director, Producer)

Sunir Pandey is a debutant filmmaker based in Kathmandu. In the past, he has worked as a journalist in Nepal, and as a writer, translator, and editor for national and international organizations. ‘No Winter Holidays’ is his first film.

Directors Statement

As filmmakers, we are interested in stories about people and the meaning of their existence in society.

Life in Nepal today is defined by poverty, gender roles, remoteness, urban-rural divide, caste, and ‘untouchability’. All these manifests in the lives of Ratima and Kalima. They are considered ‘low caste’, the ‘untouchables’ of society, they have little material wealth and their identity in society is still tied to their common, but already dead, husband.From the outside, it is as if they are doomed to isolation and drudgery. Yet, upon close observation, we find their lives have a quiet, pastoral dignity, and a sense of freedom in contrast to city-dwellers. Their activities and experiences also defy our preconceived ideas about rural women and the relationships they have in life.

Ratima and Kalima resemble many of our family members closely. Both of us have family members who refuse to leave village life – which we find tough and unrewarding – and settle with us in the city.

Through an intimate portrait of Ratima and Kalima’s lives and circumstances, we want to create a wider interest in grassroots cultures and issues in Nepal today.