Sameer Balami is primarily a film journalist. In addition to his work in film journalism, he has also been involved in producing, directing, and organizing cultural events. Today, we are excited to introduce you to him on filmyfanda.com. He has dedicated significant effort to combat child marriage through an ongoing campaign addressing this issue specifically. In this article, we will delve into his challenging journey and his profound thoughts.
Citizenship Name: Samir Kumar Shrestha
Date of Birth: November 14, 1988
Marital Status: Married
Relaxation Activities: I enjoy grabbing a refreshing subzero bottle of water.
My formal education began at Shree Bhawani Primary School in a small village. Later, I continued my studies at Okharpauwa Secondary School. Following that, I moved to Kathmandu for higher education and attended RR Campus. I was dedicated to my studies and worked diligently. I'm proud to say that I never experienced failure during my formal education.
My Journey in Journalism and Events:
My journalistic career took its first steps with Bimarsha Weekly, where I embarked on my journalism journey in 2006. After dedicating two years to Bimarsha Weekly, I took on a new role at Janaswal Daily in 2008. Alongside my passion for journalism, I held a deep interest in movies, leading me to assume the position of Chief Assistant Director in the film industry.
Surviving solely on journalism was a challenge in Kathmandu due to the lack of strong family support. Balancing my devotion to journalism and cinema proved difficult, as my family was not initially fond of these pursuits. In response, I devised a plan to engage in part-time event management. This marked the beginning of my involvement in beauty pageants, cultural events, festivals, and awards.
Over time, as I honed my skills and made progress, my family gradually warmed up to my choices. The divide between my family's expectations and my chosen path began to bridge.
Social and Work Circles:
I didn't have many close friends. Work commitments hardly afforded me the opportunity to forge connections. My main source of contact was with my mother back home, as I resided alone in Kathmandu, separated from my family. My father worked as a farmer, and my brothers were occupied with their businesses. They were engrossed in fieldwork, while I also maintained a few acquaintances. Although our interactions were sporadic, we exchanged words from time to time.
Documentary on Child Marriage:
In Kakani Rural Municipality, Ward No. 1 of Nuwakot District (formerly Okharpauwa VDC Ward No. 7 and 8), I took on the role of producer and director for a documentary addressing the issue of child marriage within the Balami communities. This marked the beginning of my professional journey. Life itself became my teacher, imparting numerous lessons along the way. The documentary was showcased in various venues, sparking important conversations.
Subsequently, I integrated elements of the documentary into a feature film, resulting in a public screening that drew attention. The documentary's impact extended beyond borders, as I had the opportunity to present it in different countries. My interest in film journalism paralleled this path, propelling me to excel in this field. This journey led to my appointment as the entertainment chief at a newspaper, broadening my influence.
Over time, even political parties began to take notice of my work. Until that juncture, my involvement primarily revolved around debating the ideas put forth by the parties.
Transitioning to a New Path:
Stepping away from my magazine work experience, I embarked on a new journey. I shifted my focus towards hosting entertainment-related television programs. I transitioned from working on documentaries to assuming the role of a film director. Additionally, I took on the responsibility of orchestrating significant national festivals. This shift prompted me to set clear goals for myself, steering my trajectory.
Subsequently, my time became predominantly occupied with directing films. Amidst my commitments, I dedicated my spare moments to brainstorming and planning events. This endeavor proved fruitful as I successfully executed events such as the Nepal Musical Tour, the New Year Music Concert, the Kakani Festival, and the Chandragiri Festival.
The documentary on child marriage within the Balami caste opened the door to a formal invitation for me to visit Japan. This invitation was extended by JICA. Subsequently, I traveled to Japan, where I presented my documentaries at various locations. From there, I traveled to Germany, where I also showcased my documentaries in the German language.
Following these experiences, I began receiving offers to organize various events such as film awards, musical tours, and film festivals in various countries. I resumed organizing film awards, this time starting from Japan, and even facilitated Nepali film awards in Japan. The inaugural film award event was the successful completion of the Surya International Awards 2018, held in Tokyo, Japan. Building on this achievement, I proceeded to organize the second edition of the Surya International Awards in Japan in 2019.
In addition to awards, I also curated a musical tour in Thailand and spearheaded the organization of the Nepali Film Festival in Dubai. These ventures not only enriched my experience but also equipped me with the skills to successfully execute events on an international scale.
Beginning of a New Era:
During my tenure at Dish Home Television, a new opportunity came knocking. An offer to become the Entertainment Chief at Kasthamandap Television came my way. This marked the beginning of a transformative phase in my career. Embracing this role, I joined Kasthamandap Television and embarked on a journey that allowed me to explore new avenues and experiment with fresh ideas. These experiences became invaluable lessons that shaped my path.
As time went on, my responsibilities expanded to include the integration of media in the world of film. I delved into creating media publicity designs for film screenings, a venture that propelled me to greater heights. This period of growth was just the beginning of my upward trajectory.
My journey continued to evolve as I took on more significant roles. I assumed the role of Central Secretary within the Film Journalists Association of Nepal—an all-encompassing organization uniting film journalists from across the nation. As time flowed, my dedication and contributions led me to ascend to the position of Secretary General. Today, I proudly hold the esteemed position of Central Executive President within the Film Journalists Association of Nepal. This journey has been a testament to my dedication and passion for the world of film journalism.
One on One:
I admire: Discreet work
I believe: Constant attachment
I have a dream: To smile every day
I always carry with me: Another goal
Inspirational artist: Picasso
What music do you like?: Classical music
What do you prefer to spend on?: Books
Where do you spend more of your time?: Creating new ideas and goals
What kind of book do you prefer to read?: Success biographies, stories, and novels
What time do you prefer to read?: In the bedroom
Perceptions in Life:
Life is A practical dream. It is the way it is run. Succeeding thinking will lead to success.
Death is A reality. One last truth.
Currently, I am running filmyfanda.com. My ongoing work involves organizing film festivals, film awards, and musical tours both within the country and abroad. I also hold the role of Executive President at the Film Journalists Association of Nepal. Through various channels, I share my experiences and thoughts with others.
My most memorable moment: Receiving the best film journalism award in Japan.
Saddest moment: When we lost our father.
The funniest moment: The day when a task is completed.
The condition of the Nepali film industry is a mixture of strengths and challenges. While there is potential for growth and improvement, certain areas need attention to elevate their presence and commercial viability.
Rich Cultural Heritage: The Nepali film industry boasts a strong foundation in art, culture, and language. This uniqueness can set Nepali films apart on the international stage, helping to attract audiences interested in exploring different cultural perspectives.
Talent and Creativity: Nepali filmmakers, artists, and technicians possess considerable talent and creativity. These individuals have the potential to create compelling and diverse content that resonates with audiences.
Commercial Viability: As you've noted, the industry faces challenges in terms of commercial success. Improving the commercial aspect of Nepali films could provide the financial stability needed for sustained growth.
International Exposure: While foreign films are reaching global audiences, Nepali cinema still has untapped potential in terms of international distribution and recognition.
Marketing and Advertisement: The industry needs to invest in effective marketing and advertisement strategies to promote films and attract audiences. This includes showcasing Nepali models and artists in advertisements within the country.
Infrastructure and Resources: A robust infrastructure, including advanced filmmaking equipment and production facilities, can contribute to higher production quality and creativity.
To move forward, it might be essential to focus on areas such as:
Investment: Encourage investments in the industry to improve production quality and support new talents.
Skill Enhancement: Provide training and workshops to improve technical skills and storytelling techniques.
Global Market Analysis: While studying the world market is important, consider adapting content that resonates with both local and international audiences.
International Partnerships: Collaborate with international filmmakers, festivals, and distributors to expand global reach.
Promotion of Local Culture: Capitalize on the richness of Nepali culture and stories to create content that stands out.
It's worth noting that every film industry faces challenges, but with strategic planning, collaboration, and continuous efforts, the Nepali film industry can certainly find its place on the global stage and achieve sustainable growth.
Are you a workaholic?
I don't have personal experiences or emotions, but based on what you've shared, it seems that you have a strong work ethic and a deep passion for your work in film journalism. You mentioned that you often work late and continue working until your complete tasks, especially when you're passionate about them. Your commitment to your field is evident as you've dedicated a significant portion of your life to film journalism. Writing about your experiences and journey in life and film journalism could be a meaningful endeavor, allowing you to reflect on your accomplishments and share your insights with others.
Three Things People Might Not Know About Me:
I have been actively engaged in numerous social works, many of which I have never spoken about before now.
I made the choice to leave a government job and pursue a career in journalism, a decision that is relatively unknown to many.
I have a limited number of close friends.
My dream revolves around collecting creative ideas and crafting a book about movies. Additionally, I aspire to pen a novel that encapsulates the profound thoughts and experiences I've accumulated over time.
My engagements are diverse and encompass various realms:
Executive President of Film Journalists Association of Nepal: I play a leadership role in this association dedicated to film journalism.
Federal Secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists (FoNIJ): I hold a significant position in a federation dedicated to indigenous journalism.
Member of Nepal Journalist Federation: I contribute as a member of this federation dedicated to promoting journalism.
Member of Film Directors Guild of Nepal: I am part of an organization that unites film directors.
Member of Nepal Film Producers Association: I am affiliated with this association, working within the film production sector.
President of Shree Mahalakshmi Janajagriti Youth Family: I lead a youth organization committed to fostering awareness and growth.
My involvements reflect my commitment to various aspects of journalism, film, and social well-being.