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The 72nd Academy Awards nominations
As presented by Robert Rehme and Dustin Hoffman
 real 28k

Wednesday, 16 February, 2000, 10:16 GMT
Nepal's first ever Oscar nomination

oscar website The official Oscars website lists all the nominees

By the BBC's Yubaraj Ghimire

Nepal has gained its first ever Oscar nomination for a film based on the country's now disappearing salt-trade system.

Caravan, by French director Eric Valli, was one of five films to be nominated in the Oscar category for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film is made in the Tibetan language, which is spoken in parts of Nepal, and uses mainly Nepalese actors.

The salt trade

Caravan focuses on the life and culture of people in Far West Dolpa district, in northwest Nepal.

It follows the story of a tribal chief, Tinle, who leads a group of villagers to Tibet to fetch salt, an essential but rare commodity in Nepal, which is a landlocked country.

The film vividly portrays the adventures and risks of such a journey made by poverty-stricken travellers.

Battle for succession

Tinle is a charismatic old chieftain who has lost his eldest son and is grooming his grandson as his son's successor.

But Karma, an outsider, wants to lead the tribe instead.

caravan on website The description of Caravan as it appears on the official site
Aged and weak, Tinle travels to Tibet, where he meets Karma.

A possible confrontation is averted when both are caught in a heavy snow storm.

They help each other to survive and return to their homeland.

Tinle then accepts Karma as his successor.

Local talent

The film is Eric Valli's first feature. His previous work included a documentary on beekeeping in the Nepalese hills, which won him publicity around the world.

In Caravan, Mr Valli mainly uses local people as actors.

However he recruited the main actor and actress from the Indian town of Dharmashala, where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.

The other countries nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category are Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom for a film in Welsh.

The winners will be announced at the Oscars ceremony on March 26.

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See also:
15 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Oscar nominees in full
15 Feb 00 |  Wales
Welsh movie on Oscars list
25 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
American Beauty wins again
08 Jan 00 |  Tom Brook
Denzel's Hurricane stirs controversy
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The Mendes touch

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