National Film awards to commemorate His Majesty’s birthday

The 16th Bhutan National Film Award will be held on 21st February coinciding with His Majesty the King’s birth anniversary. The award this year will be held in Luger Theater and telecast live on BBS.

The Bhutan Film Association (BFA) has decided that from this year there will be a separate award ceremony for documentaries, short films and animation, which has been clubbed together with the national film awards for the past three years.

BFA executive director Yeshi Dorji said the award ceremony for those categories will be organised on May 2 coinciding with the birth anniversary of the Third Druk Gyalpo.

The award for documentaries and short films was first held during 13th Film Awards, in Punakha, with jury members using separate judging score sheets.

A total of 21 films produced in 2016 will be competing for 29 categories of awards that will be decided by a jury comprising 10 members, divided into three working committees (direction and performance, culture, youth and education and technical).

Reviewing of the 21 films was completed on 24 January. Nomination of the five best films will be done this month. The first national film award was held in 2001.

BFA’s executive director Yeshi Dorji said that of 21 films five have not yet done public screening. But they can compete as they have been certified by the BICMA.  “If films are certified by BICMA within 1 January to 31 December, than the producer can register for BFA,” he added.

BFA board director Pema Rinzin said that 26 films are contesting for the awards this year.

“We somehow look at Hollywood and Bollywood and we want to excel like them, we want to be as good as them, if not better as we see lots of opportunity in the film industry in the future,” Pema Rinzin said.

He also said that, unfortunately, Bhutanese films still look like those from Bollywood and that they need to look into it.

BFA executive director Yeshi Dorji said that with support from the government and from the highest authority the association is pushing to establish a film commission, which will be a government organisation.

“Once the film commission is set up all the developmental aspects will be taken care by the commission,” he said. “As with the current situation, the association has to really work hard working towards the promotion of the film industry.”

He also said that three components have to be there: production, distribution and exhibition. “When it comes to production, we don’t have a problem as we are seeing many productions and somehow we have initiated the distribution as well,” he said.

However, they do not have film exhibition centers aside from Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Paro.

He also said they are also in the process of coming up with a film studio in Thimphu, with production and post production facilities such as color grading and sound.

He also said that they are pushing for a government fund to set up and construct a hall in five districts.

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