Bhutan In­ter­na­tional Film Fest lineup

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter/ Thim­phu

Ato­tal of 14 ex­pertly cu­rated se­lec­tion of Bhus­tanese and in­ter­na­tional nar­ra­tives, doc­u­men­taries and short films have been sched­uled to be fea­tured dur­ing the Bhutan In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val ( BIFF) that kicked off in Thim­phu yes­ter­day.

The film fes­ti­val opened with the Bhutanese film ‘ Kushuthara’ on the open­ing day at 8 pm at Le Meri­dien. The film ex­plores the Bud­dhist con­cept of karma and the pos­si­bil­ity of re­birth of two per­sons in an­other life­time to ac­com­plish what was left un­re­al­ized in the pre­vi­ous life.

Char­lie ( a pho­tog­ra­pher from Hol­ly­wood) and Chomiko (a weaver from Lhuentse), who are lovers in their past lives; get their pre­vi­ous ro­mance rekin­dled in their present lives. The en­tan­gled re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two is then un­tan­gled through re­al­iza­tion of the causes and con­di­tions that cre­ated it.

The sec­ond day of BIFF be­gins to­day at the Cen­te­nary Park from 4- 6pm with ‘ Words With Gods’, an ex­plo­ration of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween dif­fer­ent cul­tures and reli­gion. The film is based on a con­cept by Guillermo Arriaga and ar­ranged in the present or­der by Mario Var­gas Llosa.

‘ Words With Gods’ will be then fol­lowed by the film ‘ Copen­hagen’ from 6- 8pm at the Le Meri­dien. The film is about an im­ma­ture Wil­liam, who finds him­self at a cross­roads in Copen­hagen af­ter weeks of trav­el­ing through Europe.

In this 98- minute- long film di­rected by Mark Raso, a re­cip­i­ent of nu­mer­ous awards, Wil­liam finds that Copen­hagen is also the birth­place of his fa­ther. When the youth­ful Effy be­friends the older Wil­liam they set off on an adventure to find Wil­liam’s grand­fa­ther, where at­trac­tion builds be­tween the two and Wil­liam con­nects with some­one for the first time in his life. How­ever, Wil­liam must come to grips with desta­bi­liz­ing el­e­ments of his fam­ily’s sor­did past.

The sec­ond day of BIFF will be closed by ‘ Ar­rows of the Thun­der Dragon’ from 8- 10pm at Le Meri­dien. Set in the 1970s, this 89- minute- long film of 2014 di­rected by Gregg Sned­don, re­volves around a young brother and sis­ter from a re­mote vil­lage, who are forced to make dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions when their mother gets sick. The movie is shot en­tirely on lo­ca­tion in Bhutan, and pro­duced by Tsh­er­ing Dorji and Greg Sned­don.

‘ Prophecy’, ‘ 1 Gi­ant Leap: What About Me?’ and ‘ Amer­i­can Beat­boxer’ are, mean­while, the three films that will be pre­miered on the third day of BIFF. The first movie ‘ Prophecy’ would be screened at the Cen­te­nary Park from 4- 6pm.

This movie marks the de­but of His Em­i­nence Zuri Rin­poche into the film world as a direc­tor and pro­ducer. Prophecy is a sin­cere and an im­pos­ing at­tempt to chal­lenge con­ven­tional be­liefs. It’s a story of hope. It is a rev­e­la­tion of con­vic­tion rooted in the Bud­dhist prin­ci­ples of prophe­cies. The movie is a con­ge­nial mar­riage be­tween the un­de­ni­able be­lief sys­tem of reli­gion and a moral­bit­ing truth, which could man­i­fest in ways be­yond the or­di­nary.

The sec­ond movie for the day would be screened at Le Meri­dien from 6- 8pm, while the other would be shown from 8- 10pm.

Pro­duced, di­rected and writ­ten by Dun­can Bridge­man and Jamie Catto, 87- minute- long ‘ 1 Gi­ant Leap: What About Me?’ takes an inspiring and en­ter­tain­ing look at our col­lec­tive insanity - how we are ego- driven, needy in re­la­tion­ships, in­sa­tiable in de­sire, ad­dicted to sta­tus, wounded by child­hood and un­able to stop think­ing, but how we still man­age to be in­spired and cre­ative.

Amer­i­can Beat­boxer is, mean­while, about the first ever Amer­i­can Beat­box Cham­pi­onship that took place in Brook­lyn, New York, on July 31, 2010. This 85- minute­long film di­rected by Manau­vaskar Kublall doc­u­ments one of the most ne­glected gen­res of Hip Hop Cul­ture and places it in its right­ful place - in Hip Hop His­tory as well as an Amer­i­can art form.

The 39- minute- long fic­tion film ‘ Heart in the Man­dala’ at Cen­te­nary Park from 4- 6pm be­gins the fourth day of the film fes­ti­val.

The film is the story of three char­ac­ters whose lives are shad­owed by one dark past, and ex­plores the in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness of love, di­vin­ity, fate, choice and the uni­verse. This 2013 film is writ­ten, di­rected and edited by Dechen Roder.

The fourth day of the film fes­ti­val will con­tinue with ‘ Pa­trick’s Day’ at Le Meri­dien from 6- 8pm on Fe­bru­ary 17. This 102- minute- long film re­volves around Pa­trick - a warm, open, 26- yearold vir­gin schiz­o­phrenic. Things take a twist when Partick falls in love with a sui­ci­dal flight at­ten­dant, Karen. Pa­trick’s ob­ses­sive mother Maura, how­ever, will leave no stones un­turned to pull Karen and Pa­trick apart. The film is a provoca­tive and heart- break­ing love story about the right to in­ti­macy for ev­ery­one.

Prior to that, ‘ The Last Yak Herder of Dhe’ will be screened at the Cen­te­nary Park from 5: 30- 6pm. Based on the re­search by Fidel Devkota, the doc­u­men­tary is a jour­ney to the mys­te­ri­ous vil­lage of Dhe in Mus­tang, Nepal. Sim­i­larly, there is the screen­ing of ‘ L. Chophel Shorts’ from 4- 6pm at the Cen­te­nary Park.

A tra­di­tional Bhutanese movie, Hingsel, is an­other film to be fea­tured on Fe­bru­ary 17 at Le Meri­dien from 6- 8pm. This 96- minute­long movie is a ro­man­tic tragedy set in a most re­mote vil­lage in Bhutan. It’s the story of a poor boy who falls in love with a girl and goes on to prove him­self to be wor­thy of the girl.

Sim­i­larly, ‘ Bud­dha’s Birth­day in Bu­dapest’ will be fea­tured at the same time at Le Meri­dien Thim­phu. This nine- minute- long film di­rected by Arun Bhat­tarai is a re­flec­tion of a Ti­betan man, Karma, who fol­lows his Ti­betan roots re­li­giously while living in a di­as­pora. The man has set­tled down with his fam­ily in Bu­dapest ( Hun­gary).

‘ A To­tal Dis­rup­tion’ and ‘ We Live In Public’ are the two doc­u­men­taries that would be shown on Fe­bru­ary 18 at the Le Meri­dien from 6- 7pm and 9- 10pm re­spec­tively.

Apart from the screen­ing of th­ese se­lected films, renowned lo­cal and vis­it­ing film­mak­ers, mean­while, will also host par­tic­i­pa­tory work­shops and mas­ter classes with both lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and par­tic­i­pants vis­it­ing the film fes­ti­val.

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