Deepak Rauniyar was born in Saptari, Nepal, and worked as a teacher, a print journalist, radio correspondent, and as a writer and producer for the BBC Media Action where he wrote, directed and produced radio dramas and short films before eventually making his feature film debut with Highway (2012). Besides directing the micro budget feature, he also produced and edited. The film premiered at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, the first time any Nepali film had ever screened at a major international festival. It was nominated for Berlin’s Best First Feature Award and was selected to open the Museum of Modern Art in New York’s ContemporAsian series in 2013. In his own country, the social drama provoked a tumultuous response due to its realistic characters and their taboo-shrouded issues.
In 2016, Rauniyar returned with White Sun, his second feature about life in post-war Nepal, which he co-wrote, directed and produced. The film was a major international success after receiving its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. In addition to winning Venice’s InterFilm Award, White Sun won Best Asian Feature at the Singapore International Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize at Palm Spring International Film Festival and four awards including Audience Award at the Fribourg International Film Festival. White Sun was Nepal’s official selection for the Academy Awards’® Best Foreign Language Film category in 2017.
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.