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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

On Bhutanese film industry

Bhutanese film industry is growing but not without limitations.
(from www.bhutanobserver.bt)
With the institution of Motion Pictures Association of Bhutan(MPAB) In1999, the Bhutanese audio-visual industry has come long way now. In his article on Bhutanese films,Tshering (2010) found "there were 102 film and music producers and other artists registered with MPAB" as of 2009.

But producers say, taking into account the rising cost of production, there is little room for the profit.

Some decades ago, when there were no television and Internet services in the country, the films and movies were only public entertainment; JIGDREL of Norling Production became blockbuster in 1998. The first BHutanese film was GASA LAMAI SINGYE produced by Ugetsu Communications in 1989. 

In 1999, Bhutan was introduced to television and Internet facilities. Thus came with it the influences of Bollywood and Hollywood. There was a time when people(of Bhutan) where satisfied with the qualities of entertainment that the producers(local producers) produced, meaning the cost of production was comparatively low but now the film production houses invest huge amount in procuring equipments and producing standard movie to market their products(=movies). Today, "average Bhutanese feature film costs around Nu 1.5 million to produce."(ibid).

The filmmakers say that "the loans should be made available for producing films, building more movie theatres and tax exemption on film making equipments."(BBS, 2009). Another issue expressed by our filmmakers is on the selling of unauthorized(pirated) movies in the border town of neighboring country India.
It came as a big achievement of the industry when the local films could take prime time in Lugar theatre; since February 2005, only Bhutanese films were allowed to screen in the theatre (now none of the theatres in the country screen foreign movies though). But again owing to the increasing number of producers and thus the number of movies, the two theatres (including Trowa threatre) in the capital are never  felt  sufficient.   

The film industry creates employment opportunities for our youth( and of course any age). It also helps contribute to our national exchequer; in 2007, the Entertainment Sector (films & cable TV) was the " 7th highest contributer to the national exchequer." (Wangchuk, n.d, most probably 2008).

Bhutanese film industry has come long way-from story telling to audio-video to acting. And it is still growing but not without limitations.
note: this text was not proof-read.

  1. BBS.(2009).Bhutanese film producers say the film industry is shrinking.Bhutan broadcasting service. Retrieved November 8,2010     from http://www.bhutanmajestictravel.com/news/2008/bhutanese-film-producers-   say-the-film-industry-is-shrinking.html
  2. BBS.(n.d).Bhutanese film industry, a long way to go.Bhutan broadcasting service. Retrieved November 8, 2010, from   http://www.bbs.com.bt/Bhutanese%20film%20industry,%20a%20long%20way%20to%20go.html
  3. Tshering, N.(2010).Film business blue.Bhutanobserver. Retrieved November 8, 2010, from http://www.bhutanobserver.bt/2010/happenings/11/film-business-blues.html
  4. Wangchuk, D. (n.d).BHutanese film industry: National experience. Retrieved November 8, 2010, from   http://www.ipbhutan.gov.bt/ReportsFile/film%20industry_experience_Dorji%20Wangchuk.pdf

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