Moti Bagh, a small documentary directed by Nirmal Chander on the life of a farmer, Vidyadutt, has been nominated for Oscar Awards, 2019. Vidyadutt is a farmer living in the state’s Pauri Garhwal region. The film tells us about the struggles of a farmer’s life who lives in a remote village of the Himalayan mountain ranges and his struggles during the migration. 

On Tuesday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat told the good news to the media. He congratulated the director, Nirmal Chander Dandriyal for getting nominated for one of the biggest film industry awards from around the globe.

Rawat said that the film will help in stopping migration from remote areas. It will inspire the youth to stay in their villages and work for their communities. While giving the message, CM addressed the young farmers saying that they can play a significant role in preventing mass migration from villages to urban lands. He motivated them to stay in their homeland and continue farming while taking advantage of schemes launched by the state government.


The film based on the life of Vidyadutt, 83-year old farmer-poet struggling to keep his farm alive, who lives in Sanguda village of Kaljikhal, Pauri Garhwal, a small remote village area in Uttarkhand. The village is in the laps of the Himalayan mountain range. The movie tells us about the struggle of a farmer living in the area and how the other farmers like him have the struggled to make a living amongst the inhabited lands of the hills. It tells the story of how the state has witnessed a mass migration over the generations, because of the modernization and urbanization, which could reach these hills.

The movie makes successful efforts to portray how the Nepali farmers have done a lot for the land over the years, their continued efforts, and the support of the people of the region.

The movie is worth watching as. A Nepali farmer can be seen talking about how when he came to the hills 52 years ago and how people think of him as the odd one out. They would call him by different names, viz ‘Dutiyal’, ‘Nepali’ & ‘Bahadur’ subtly pointing out that he was from Nepal and not one of them.


The film gives screen time to Vidyadutt’s son, Tribhuvan Uniyal, who tells us about his big plans with the farm. He wishes to attract tourists to his farms, by building huts on his farm, where the visitors could stay for a few nights, enjoy the weather around, and live village life for a while. He envisions a future where the tourists would have a place to sit amidst green farms, eating fresh fruits, right in the middle of Jungle.

Here is the link to the trailer of the short:

Famous ‘Garhwali’ Film director, Ganesh Veeran, said “Moti Bagh, a documentary film on the life struggle of Prithvi Putra, created in Pahar Ki Mati, has been selected for the Oscars. This is a moment of pride for Uttarakhand. We sincerely hope that ‘Motibagh’ smell will bring priceless gifts in the form of Oscar Award.”

Moti Bagh also shared the award for ‘Best Long Documentary’ along with Pankaj Rishi Kumar’s “Janani’s Juliet” at the 12th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala. The fest was organised by the Kerala State’s “Chalachitra Academy”. The award included a cash prize of Rs.2 lakhs.

This is not the first Indian directed documentary to have entered for Oscars in 2019. Earlier in February 2019, Rayka Zehtabchi‘s “Period. End of Sentence” has won the Oscar under the Documentary Short Subject category at 91st Academy Awards. Set in rural India, the film portrays the situation of woman and their struggle during menstruation. The film was produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment.

Indian film-making industry has surpassed its cliché boundaries of Bollywood. Film-making has now entered streets and is calling artists, directors, story writers to depict their form of story-telling art through cinema. People have started making documentaries, short films, vlogs and helping people know more and more about the core India with the help of their work published on internet platforms like Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime etc.

Motibagh’s Oscar nomination will motivate such enthusiastic Indian film-makers to move ahead and work hard. We congratulate Nirmal Chander for the nominations and wish him all the best for the results.