Stories in Motion

October 7, 2016 , by Rujika Tuladhar, Leave your thoughts
Stories in Motion » My Dreams Mag

Sampada Malla is a writer and film producer currently based in India. Born and raised in Kathmandu, Malla published her debut book, Anayas Ek Din (Suddenly One Day); an anthology of short stories in Nepali at the tender age of 17. Later, she also worked as a freelance journalist contributing articles to leading Nepali newspapers.

After completing her MA in Films; she shifted her base to Mumbai where she worked in the Indian television industry as a screenplay writer of various hit TV series like Ishqka Rang Safed (Colors TV). Back home, she also worked as a script writer for a popular Nepali TV series Singha Durbar, a political drama about a fictional Prime Minister of Nepal, produced by Search for Common Grounds and funded by USAID. She has made documentaries featuring Nepali theatre for international organizations like USAID, The Asia Foundation and UNICEF. In 2014; through her Nepali film company 360 Degree Mountain Films; Malla initiated Drishyansha; a Nepali Cell Phone Cinema Competition. The festival which was supported by many prominent faces of the Nepali film fraternity; received more than 600 Nepali films from Nepal and abroad. Malla has recently written and produced a Nepali short film Chyanti (based on a poor family during Nepal’s civil war) directed by award winning London based Nepali film- maker Veemsen Lama. The film is presently in the final stage of completion and will soon participate in various International Festivals.

But after a short stint with Yash Raj Films, a leading production house in India, her biggest project till date is Kerry on Kutton, a Hindi feature film. She is the Creative Producer of the film. .

DREAMS caught up with Malla to learn more about her journey;


  How did you get into filmmaking?

After completing my MA in Films from Delhi, I moved to Mumbai in 2011. After some period of struggle, I started getting works in the Indian TV industry as a screenplay writer for many popular shows. Since it was a very well paid job; I didn’t struggle financially but there was still an unfulfilled desire to do films.

It was also quite difficult as I didn’t have any connections in the film and TV industry; especially when the industry only functions through contacts and it’s almost impossible to get work without references. But fortunately, in 2012, I got an opportunity in Yashraj Films as a Making Director for its upcoming film ShuddhDesi Romance. But after long delays, I left the project but not before starting our own venture into filmmaking.

  How was the transition from being a “screenplay writer” of daily soaps to being a “creative producer” for a movie?

I started writing at the age of 7 and even before I finished my school I was already working as a freelance writer to many leading English and Nepali newspapers of Nepal like Kantipur, The Himalayan Times, Wave, Annupurna Post. Slowly, I discovered a fiction writer inside me and published my debut book- an anthology of Nepali stories at the age of 17. After my education in films; I got the knowledge of screenplay writing; and channelized my writing skills into that genre. So I have to say that it wasn’t so difficult for me to transition.

To be honest; I got into Indian TV solely for financial purposes; as I needed to survive in Mumbai in my initial days. Film has always been my first priority; and when the opportunity came; I knew I had to switch instantly.

You are also involved with Sarwanam Theatre in Nepal. How do you manage your time here and your base in Mumbai?

I have been involved in the Creative Management of Sarwanam Theatre since I was 16; much before I came to India. I serve as a Board of Director in Sarwanam Theatre Group as well as the Creative Director of Sarwanam Dramatic Art Centre which is a one of a kind of an all art centre in Nepal that houses a theatre auditorium; art exhibition hall; theatre library; café and a workshop hall. As I constantly keep travelling back to Nepal; it isn’t that difficult to manage my responsibilities. Also; in today’s world of internet; I do most of my work through online.


  How do you compare and contrast working as a writer in India and in Nepal?

I have not worked in mainstream Nepali industry so my experience of screen-writing in Nepal is only limited to Singhadurbar, which had a complete Hollywood style of working. In India, TV writing is very organized as its dominated by the corporate channels like Star Plus, Colors, Sony. Besides that, creation is always organic – be it Nepal or India. A creation has no national barriers, it needs to be universal.

What future projects do you have under your belt?

I have just been signed as a screenwriter for an upcoming Bollywood film and at the moment I am completely busy in writing the film. I can’t mention any more detail about the film but it’s going to be one of my turning points of life as my first break as a screenwriter in mainstream Hindi films.

Words by Rujika Tuladhar.
Photos from Sampada‘s Facebook Profile.

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Categorised in: Arts

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