Watch Trailer


  • United States
  • Nepal
Audio Tracks

William Blake’s oft-quoted observation about finding the world in a grain of sand comes to mind more than once during “Manakamana,” the latest in a string of marvelously original non-fiction features to emerge from Harvard U.’s Sensory Ethnography Lab. Here the grain of sand is a cable car system high in the mountains of Nepal, ferrying passengers to and from the titular temple of a sacred Hindu goddess. And without once leaving the confines of the car itself, directors Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez manage to craft a vast and revealing portrait of both their chosen locale and the people who pass through it. A double prize-winner at Locarno, this deceptively simple, one-of-a-kind achievement will continue to keep a busy festival dance card and should attract small but passionate crowds in limited theatrical play. Variety


  • Original title
  • Direction
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Pacho Velez
  • Editing
    Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez
  • Sound
    Ernst Karel
  • Duration
    118 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
    • Nepal
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • IFP Gotham Award 2014
    • Independent Spirit Award 2014
    • Docaviv 2014
    • BAFICI 2014
    • RiverRun International Film Festival 2014
    • Locarno 2013
  • Awards
    • Docaviv 2014 - Best Artistic Vision Award
    • BAFICI 2014 - Vanguard and Genre Gran Premio
    • RiverRun International Film Festival 2014 - Best Director, Documentary
    • Locarno 2013 - Golden Leopard, Filmmakers of the Present category
    • Locarno 2013 - Special Mention for Best First Feature Film
    • Locarno 2013 - Independent International Film Critics' Award for Best First Feature


In order to add a comment please login or register first. is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

Doc Alliance Members