Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Historic 16th National Film Award of Bhutan


Bhutanese Film fraternity has travelled so far and achieved so much. The cinema in Bhutan was started as hobby by some Bhutanese who loved movies.  Now it has become full-fledged industry. For many it is source of their bread and butter while for lucky few, it is extra income and business. Contribution to Bhutan socio-economic development can be followings;
1.      Provision of employment for at least 200 people
2.      Preservation, promotion and experimentation of our  tangible and intangible culture
3.      Promotion of National Language
4.      Setting fashion trend
5.      Exposing Brand Bhutan to international audience
In journey about two decades, Bhutan movie industry has managed to phase out foreign movies from public screening while bigger countries like Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh etc are unable to withstand onslaught of Bollywood movies. On top of that, Bhutanese Film Industry is able to carve niche market in some parts of India and even in Tibet, Bhutanese movies seem to be high demand.

Bhutan National Film Award is celebration of not only our film Industry’s success, it is celebration of our culture and way of life in ever changing world. The 16th National Film Award was celebrated on 21st February 2017 coinciding with Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King of Bhutan. This film award this year was historic in sense that Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonhen Tshering Tobgay graced the occasion and added three new awards with record prize of Nu. One million each-the Prime Minister’s Award Winner, 1st Runners-Up and 2nd Runners-Up.
This year, a total of 21 films competed for the awards in 31 categories.  Of total movies, 12 movies won at least one award. The movie ‘Tshorwa’ took the maximum awards at six followed by Pot of Gold, Bum Badha Chenmai Rigzin and Serga Mathang at five awards each. However, Tshorwa didn’t win many of major awards like Best Film, Director, Actor/Actress or Screenplay.
The best film went to Serga Mathang or Golden Girl Cousin--about practices of preferring first cousin (but not all first cousins qualify as golden cousin) for marriage in eastern Bhutan and how modern people view this practice). The golden cousin is son or daughter of your father’s sister’s children or your mother’s brother’s children. Your father’s brother’s children or your mother’s sister’s children don’t qualify as golden cousin.  The best actor award was given to Gyem Dorji, veteran local actor and former Member of Parliament. Tandin Biddha won her second best actress award for her unique role in Bum Badha Chenmai Rigzin. Best Director and Best Screen Play went to Kezang P Jigme for Serga Mathang. Tshorwa’s Sonam Dorji became highest individual award winners of the year (three awards) followed by veteran actors Gyem Dorji and Nidup Dorji, and Kezang P Jigme at two awards each.
However, the highlight of the National Film Award was institution of three new awards under name of Prime Minister’s Awards (as mentioned earlier). The prize money is highest in the history of Bhutan’s cinema. The prize money could be 1/3 of total budget of any Bhutanese movie. Serga Mathang won Prime Minister Award (by virtue of which it is also announced as Best Film) followed by Hum Chewai Zamling as 1st Runner-Up and Thrung Thrung Karmo as 2nd runner-up.
The Prime Minister award doesn’t seem to have any separate criteria than criteria for best film category. However, the reasons for instituting such award are said to be following;
1.      The name Prime Minister’s award seems to attract greater public reaction in international market
2.      To indirectly support  financially some of the best Bhutanese movies
3.      Motivate Bhutanese film makers to work hard.
But it is not known whether Prime Minister’s Awards will be given annually or not. Even if it does it is not sure three movies will get awards annually. Even Prize money doesn’t seem to be fixed amount.
The biggest award was received however by Film Industry as whole as the Prime Minister announce construction of movie halls in all twenty districts.

The details of awards and its winners are as follow;

Sl.no
Category
Winner
1
Actor Male
Gyem Dorji (Pot of Gold)
2
Actor Female
Tandin Bidha (BBCR)
3
Supporting Actor Male
Ugyen Dorji (SERGA MATHANG)
4
Supporting Actor Female
Sherab Lhamo (HUM CHEWAI ZAMLING)
5
New Comer Male
Tashi Penjor Dorji (POT OF GOLD)
6
New Comer Female
Deki Lhamo (POT OF GOLD)
7
Child Artist
Kuenzang Lhamo (LEKZIN)
8
Actor (Negative)
Nidup Dorji (BBCR)
9
Actor (Comic)
Gyem Dorji (POT OF GOLD)
10
Screenplay
Kesang P Jigme & Sangay (SERGA MATHANG)
11
Choerography
Karma Jerry (CHELLO DORJI)
12
Art Director
Nidup Dorji (BBCR)
13
Make up Artist
Sangay Dema (BBCR)
14
Cinematography
Sonam Dorji (TSHORWA)
15
Lighting
Tashi Dorji (TSHORWA)
16
Editor
Sonam Dorji (TSHORWA)
17
Animation
Droji Lethro (TSHOI GYALPO)
18
Visual Effect
Bishnu Kumar (DANGPHU DINGPHU)
19
Music Composer
Tashi Wangdi(Khakom Chu- BBCR)
20
Background Score
5MB Studio (TSHORWA)
21
Sound Desing
Sonam Dorji (TSHORWA)
22
Singer Male
Ugyen Dorji (Gaya Mi-KUENDHEN LHATSHO)
23
Singer Female
Tashi Dema (Gawi Hingtram- TSHORWA)
24
Youth & Education
DHARMA
25
Lyricist
Sherab Dorji(Sheyka Drali- POT OF GOLD)
26
Dzongkha
DANGPHU DINGPHU
27
Best Director
Kesang P Jigme (Serga Mathang)
28
Best Film
Serga Mathang
29
Prime Minister’s Award
Serga Mathang
30
1st Runners Up-Prime Minister’s Award
Hum Chewai Zamling
31
2nd Runners Up-Prime Minister’s Award
Thrung Thrung Karmo


Source: Bhutan Film Association Website



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