OCT 23, 2011
Unappealing to usual moviegoers
Beskop Tshechu Accustomed to watching feature and commercial films apart from usual soaps, art-based films failed to captivate Bhutanese audience, who flocked to watch it at the ‘Beskop Tshechu’ yesterday.
Around six short films were screened at the Vast gallery last evening in one of Bhutan’s first short film and documentary film festival.
While it started with an eager audience of around 200, the crowds inside began to thin out with more films being screened.
It was, observers said, an indication that the films did not appeal to the taste of its Bhutanese audience, or that they were beyond their comprehension.
For instance, the first to be screened, a film called ‘A Forgotten Story,’ written and directed by Tashi Gyeltshen, runs for six minutes.
Deprived of dialogues, except for some haunting musical composition of the traditional dranyen (guitar), the film tells the story of a jamjee (kettle), a victim being pushed to obscurity after being replaced by a modern and more glamorous teapot.
It ends with the jamjee committing suicide by drowning itself in a river.
Film makers said, short films, unlike commercial movies, were motivated at a personal level, and attempted to showcase one’s artistic talent and, at the same time, depict popular culture.
‘Sooner or Later’ is a short animated fiction film about the effects of global warming, and how ignorant humans are to its effects.
It provides images of a family of polar bears being separated by the cracks in the snow, and drifting away from each other.
Among the seven films screened, ‘The Container,’ a Bhutanese-Australian co-production was also screened.
The film made international headlines, as it was screened at the Cannes film festival, a prestigious event in France.
It will also be screened at the Brussels international independent film festival this November end.
Around seven short films will be competing for the award of the total twelve films that will be screened.
Dechen Roder, a filmmaker, who organised the event, said only original Bhutanese made films will be competing for the award.
She said the festival was the first of its kind in Bhutan, and was created purely to serve the purpose of showcasing artistic talents of Bhutanese film makers, and also encouraging more people to make short films.
Other films screened were, The Little Rockstar, Before Happiness and A Day in a Life.
Around ten films will be screened at the Tertoen hotel tomorrow morning.
“If you’re tired of watching actors singing and dancing behind prayer flags, of stories about common family feuds, marriage, romance and reunion, Beskop Tshechu promises a different flavour all together,” a young graduate at the festival said.
By Nidup Gyeltshen