Film southasia

"Festival of southasian documentries"

In Search of the Riyal

Directed by KESANG TSETEN | |



They are Nepal’s ‘oil’ one million Nepalis that work in the Gulf, earning only USD 5-7 a day, to keep their families back home alive. The film explores the Nepali migrant world: young Nepalis from disadvantaged communities who undergo minimal skills training to prepare for the Gulf. The disillusioning, sad, but at times empowering, experience of Nepalis in Qatar, rarely captured due to the Gulf’s sensitivity to scrutiny of their labour practices. In Search of the Riyal explores the recurring lure of going abroad that often captivates the returnee, and, finally, the enormity of the journey.


KesangTseten’s documentaries have regularly screened in Nepal and in international film festivals such as the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam, Leipzig International Documentary Festival, Yamagata, Thessaloniki, Krakow, Viennale, the Margaret Mead Film festival. We Homes Chaps, On the road with the red god: Machhendranath, We Corner People, Who will be a Gurkha and his trilogy of films on Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf have won wide recognition. Men at Work, part of a South Asian Masculinities project, and Castaway Man, part of a South Asian Project on justice, followed.His most recent films are Hospital and Trembling Mountain, which premiered at IDFA and was awarded 2nd Prize in the International Category. Tseten has been recipient of grants from Busan, IDFA and the Sundance Institute for his films. He wrote the original screenplay for the feature Mukundo, which was Nepal’s entry to the academy awards, and KARMA. Before filmmaking Tseten wrote and edited and was associate editor of Himal Magazine in its early years. He is a graduate of Dr Graham’s School in India and Amherst College and Columbia University in the US.

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Director :   KESANG TSETEN
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