Sagar Ghimire is a 29-year-old emerging actor whose debut movie, Blue Flower, recently received a nomination at the Nepal International Film Festival (NIFF), a premier film and cultural event that celebrates diverse storytelling and narratives worldwide. Ghimire began his career as a model and, since then, has appeared in various Nepali music videos. In the movie, he plays the role of Tikal, who identifies himself as gay and belongs to a rural household in Nepal.
Born and raised in Biratnagar, Ghimire says most of his childhood was spent doing mimicry. The allure of the Nepali film industry, he says, was one of the many reasons for him to get into acting. “I’m a huge fan of Dilip Rayamajhi and I grew up watching his films. His work has inspired me a lot,” he says. Although he started off with mimicry, his journey led him to modeling and music videos. “I have gone through many auditions, faced several rejections, and the process was tougher than I had ever imagined,” he says.
Getting a call from Sunil Babu Pant, the director of Blue Flower, was a shocker. “I wasn’t expecting any of that but then I got a call to give an audition,” he says. Ghimire says that initially, he was skeptical about taking on this opportunity. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to be in front of the big screen. Knowing that Pant was offering a workshop in acting for the cast encouraged him to sign up for playing the role of Tilak.
“Once I read the script, I had no doubt about how much I wanted to play the role I was offered,” says Ghimire. The movie wasn’t a mainstream one and he was blown away by the fact that his debut as an actor would be in a movie that highlights hidden identities, ignored emotions, and the gender stereotypes that the Nepali society still holds. “I could connect with my character on a personal level. At times, Tilak touched my heart, and we are both optimists,” he says.
He credits the actors, storyline, and plots of the movie for its success, although he is still shocked to see people praising and appreciating his role in the movie. “In the process, I got the opportunity to capture the priceless panorama of the acting industry,” he says. Having versatility in acting, he mentions, is equivalent to possessing a precious asset. If given the further opportunity to attend workshops, he says he is willing to take on any role.
“It was daunting for a novice like me at first, but the workshops and training allowed me to hone my skills,” he says. After receiving his first nomination for Blue Flower, Ghimire has been occupied with promotions and charitable events. He hopes that the NIFF nomination will present him with other great opportunities in the future.
When compared to music videos, Ghimire claims that being in a movie is much more difficult. “You have an easy chance to appear in music videos if you can dance and put up expressions. But, for movies, it’s different. There are a lot of elements for an actor to keep in mind,” he says.
“There are a lot of incredible Nepali actors I’m hoping to get a chance to work with in the future,” says Ghimire, especially with ones whose work has inspired him the most. In the Nepali cinema industry, besides Dilip Rayamajhi, he says his favorite actors are Bipin Karki, Dayahang Rai, Khagendra Lamichhane, Niruta Singh, Surakshya Panta, Swastima Khadka, and Namrata Shrestha. “It would be an honor to get a chance to work with them,” he says.
Despite the success he has seen early on in his career, Ghimire is quite concerned about the future of new and emerging actors. “The acting industry is evolving and has become more demanding than it was a few decades ago,” he says, adding that it will be more difficult for him to succeed in the media and entertainment industry because he has no prior connections or much experience in the field. “But I’m not deterred,” he adds. Ghimire has only started his journey and he says he is ready to transform into whomever he aspires to be. “There might be many obstacles and challenges along the way but what I need to do is maintain consistency, dedication, and have faith,” he says.