The Story of Playback Theatre through the Camera

What we want to do: The Idea

We want to make a feature-length documentary on Playback Theatre. It will essentially tell the story of Playback Theatre through the medium of cinema, covering the entire Playback trajectory right from its genesis, evolution to the global movement that it has become today. As much as possible we want to include the perspectives, experiences and memories of people from around the world who practice Playback Theatre, so as to cover the international Playback Theatre movement and its practice around the globe, its diversity and connectivity.

Besides the US, we plan to shoot in Japan, on the occasion of the celebration of 25 years of Playback Theatre there in May 2018. Further, we plan to shoot is in the UK where Jonathan will be facilitating a workshop on the isle of Iona. The documentary will also use archived footage.

One part of the documentary’s story will be about Nepal, as one of the sources of inspiration for Jonathan, showing the rediscovery of the country after almost 50 years and the reflections of its meaning. The shooting of meaningful moments that happened during this journey has already been completed when Jonathan came to Nepal in 2016.

About Middleway Films  

Middleway Films is a film company based in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Established in 2009, it has made documentary films on pressing issues in Nepal. Some of these films, including Anjali, Sakhi, have been screened in national and international film festivals. Having made over a dozen films on various forms and practice of theatre, we specialize in making films on theatre.  The company has made two short documentaries on Playback Theatre in Nepal.

Why choose a Nepali filmmaker to make this film?

Nepal is not a country with a long Playback tradition. Yet, Jonathan Fox cites Nepal as one of the places where he gained inspiration to develop this art form. There was an instant connection between the filmmakers and Jonathan, giving the feeling that besides all challenges, a Nepali filmmaker’s view can bring new insights. On the practical side, production costs for documentary making are relatively low in Nepal. The filmmakers are experts on how to cover stories of theatre visually. They have a kind of “neutral” view on the story and a genuine motivation to cover it in the best way.

The Plan

Shooting in Nepal is already completed. We want to shoot in the USA, Japan and in the UK in 2018 and complete the project by April, 2019.

The crowdfunding campaign

We are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the project. We calculated and estimated budget of USD 32,962 to complete the project. 41% of this amount will be spent in covering logistical costs, including traveling and accommodation for the two filmmakers. About 34% will be used to cover equipment hire and post-production costs, including editing and studio costs, and a basic remuneration for the film crew. The rest, roughly 25%, will go for perk-related and crowdfunding charge costs. The core efforts for the project are done voluntarily and it will stay a non-profit project.

We need your support; individual, organizational; big or small to make this project vision a reality.

Link of teaser: //

Link of crowd-funding page: //

For further information:

Anne Dirnstorfer:

Mohan Rai: