Director Stephanie Spray’s Film, ‘Manakamana’ Declared One of This Year's Best Films!

Director Stephanie Spray’s Film, ‘Manakamana’ Declared One of This Year's Best Films!

‘Manakamana’ has been chosen by Indiewire’s film critics as one of the top ten best movies of 2014.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA funded ‘Manakamana’ has been chosen by Indiewire’s film critics as one of the top ten best movies of 2014.

Experimental documentary filmmaker, Stephanie Spray, has received rave reviews since her film, “Manakamana” premiered in April.The film, uniquely shot with a static camera in cable cars that shuttles pilgrims and tourists to and from a Hindu temple in the Nepal Valley, builds a cinematic experience in a series of 10-minute vignettes. The 2012 Princess Grace Awards winner works as part of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, an organization that has helped produce some of the most ground-breaking films today. Indiewire says that “Manakamana” caught the attention of so many critics because it slowly grows its intrigue. ”It rewards patient viewers with a fascinating showcase of various occupants and overall meditational quality,” explains Indiewire.

Stephanie says when she heard about theManakamana cable car and temple she, too, was fascinated. She invited Bindu Gayek (the woman in the second shot of“Manakamana”) and her son Kamal to ride with her on the cable car in September 2010. “I thought that the confines of the small space would allow for a productive, albeit forced, intimacy between the film subjects and the camera—I’d never been on a cable car and wasn’t quite sure what to expect,” explains Stephanie. “Later, viewing the footage, I realized that the duration of the trip would allow for intimate exchanges to unfold.”

“It’s fairly rare these days to see something that’s striking because its concept is so simple,” film critic Abby Garnett crisply surmises. "Manakamana" contains nothing traditionally movie-like in its progression,” adds Indiewire. “And that's exactly what makes it one of the most engrossing cinematic achievements to come along.”

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June 25, 2014

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