Bidur Pandey obituary: A cinematographer par excellence

Anushka Nepal

Anushka Nepal

Bidur Pandey obituary: A cinematographer par excellence

Bidur Pandey, a renowned cinematographer known for his work in dozens of films and hundreds of music videos, passed away on August 14. He was 53.

Born and raised in Om Bahal, Kathmandu, Pandey started his videography career working for a video magazine. Before that, he used to own a cassette store in New Road.

Pandey was fond of gadgets and electronics from an early age. He once said in an interview that he used to shoot home movies with a camcorder and that he was a self-taught videographer. But he never gave much thought to being a cinematographer. This changed when he joined the video magazine.

The magazine, ‘Swornim’, discontinued after a few episodes, but even during his short stint there, he had found his calling. Pandey branched out to feature filmmaking and even worked in two movies ‘Seemana’ and ‘Pratikshya’. However, he decided to end his budding filmmaking career as he was unhappy with the way the industry functioned.

Following a brief hiatus, Pandey returned behind the camera when Image Channel hired him to make a film-based program. Besides shooting the TV show, he also started working in music videos.

The first music video Pandey shot was for the song ‘Maryo ni Maryo’ by the rock band Cobweb. He would go on to make more than 1,500 music videos. In between, he also took on the camera duty for some films including ‘Kagbeni’ in 2008. The film directed by Bhusan Dahal was the first in South Asia to be shot digitally.

Dahal remembers Pandey as a highly professional cinematographer who always kept himself busy. The two worked in Kantipur TV for over many years. Pandey’s colleagues used to refer to him as ‘Baa’ as a sign of veneration for the veteran videographer.

‘Swor’, ‘Bhuimanche’, and ‘Jung Bahadur ko Coat’ are among other films that Pandey worked in as a cinematographer, but he is best known for his prolific music-video making career. Most recently, he was working for Galaxy 4K TV.

Pandey was rushed to the Gangalal Hospital in Kathmandu after complaining of discomfort on the right side of his body on the morning of August 14. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and died in the course of treatment, just four days shy of his 54th birthday. He is survived by his wife and their son.

Birth: 14 August 1968, Kathmandu

Death: 10 August 2022, Kathmandu