Who will be a Gurkha by Kesang Tseten

‘Who will be a Gurkha‘ is a documentary by Kesang Tseten that won the Best Documentary as well as the Public Choice Award in the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) 2012. The documentary is based on the recruitment process of British Gurkha regiment.

A different kind of film that does not have heavy discursive quality that most of the documentaries have, although the subject it deals with is not easy or light. The film, the director had thought would appeal to the people, covers the area of the process of Gurkha recruiting which no one has seen apart from those participating in it and it is about the unique relationship that the British State and ordinary Nepalese share as an employer and job applicants, respectively.

who will be gurkha

The story just came to him when he was planning for a movie on another subject that he wanted to make. The movie he was working on was about the men in various ‘men work’ setting and it is while working on this project that he came up with the idea of making a movie on the recruitment process of the Gurkhas. Although initially he did not want to do any interviews and wanted to make it with an observational approach, as he began filming, he realized how cinematic and fascinating this potentially un-dramatic aspect of the British Gurkha subject was and then decided to make a whole separate film about it. The movie bagged Best Documentary as well as the Public Choice Award at the film festival which the director had not anticipated while he entered his movie into the festival. All he wanted to do was to see how the Nepalese citizens would respond to his movie.

Kesang Tseten gave continuity to the migrant workers movie that he was working on and that movie, because of its vast subject matter, was made in three parts.