Bhutanese Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Showcase Bhutan’s Unique Culture, Exotic Landscape And More

One of the aims of the festival was to commemorate 50 years of Bhutan-India diplomatic relations.

The first Bhutan Film Festival (BFF) was held from 23-24 June in Sikkim, India. (Source: Indiatvnews)


By Rajesh Rai | Kuensel

The first Bhutan Film Festival (BFF) was held from 23-24 June at Gangtok in Sikkim, India. One of the aims of the festival was to commemorate 50 years of Bhutan-India diplomatic relations.

A team from the Film Association of Bhutan (FAB) led by its president and a performing group comprising of more than 40 artists from the film industry were in Gangtok.

What transpired over the two day event in Sikkim

Traditional dances and songs were performed by artists from both Bhutan and Sikkim. Six Bhutanese movies were also screened at the two-day event.

The festival was jointly organised by the department of information and media (DoIM) and FAB. The Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KN Rai was the chief guest at the event. Several other Sikkim dignitaries also attended the event. 


Caption: A Bhutanese Film       Source: Kuensel Online


The Consul General of Bhutan in Kolkata, Thinley Wangchuk and the director of DoIM, Rinchen Dorji also attended the event as Bhutanese delegates. 

FAB President, Karma Tshering said that it is an important event. “It is also historic for the film makers,” he said, explaining that it is the first film festival.

Being the closest neighbour in terms of physical proximity, Karma Tshering said that it is the reason why Sikkim was chosen for the grand event. It is also the shared cultural and traditional similarities between Bhutan and Sikkim, he added.

Popularity of Bhutanese movies in Sikkim, India

“People in Sikkim love watching Bhutanese movies,” he said, BBS and BBS 2 channels are also widely watched in Sikkim. “Many Sikkimese know our artists.”


Caption: An Award Winning Bhutanese Film  Source: Facebook/tshorwa


The FAB President also said that the primary reason to hold the event is to take Bhutanese films beyond the borders, as Bhutan’s market is small.

Given the natural setting, unique ancestry folklores (for storytelling), the Bhutanese film industry has potential to go international and such an event is one such positive step taken, he added.

The Bhutanese team marched to the event hall for a rehearsal on foot wearing the traditional costumes – gho (for male) and kira (for female). 

The DoIM director, Rinchen Dorji said that the event is fully funded by the Government of Bhutan.

“This is one of the many events scheduled for celebrating 50-years of Bhutan-India relations,” he said.

Objectives of the First Bhutan film festival

The primary objective, Rinchen Dorji said is to strengthen the existing relation between Bhutan and India.

“It is to provide a platform for people to meet, discuss and engage,” he said, adding that the event is also an opportunity for Bhutanese films to explore new markets.


Caption: Exotic Culture in the Laya Highlands, Bhutan  Source: DrukAsia


He also mentioned that the event is also an avenue for Bhutan to promote its exotic landscape as a filming location through its movies. 

Challenges faced by the Bhutanese Film industry

Bhutanese actor, Jigme Wangchuk (aka Ring) said that minimal viewership is still a challenge for Bhutanese films at home. “

Bhutan alone is not possible as a market,” he said.

Pema Deki, a prominent singer said that she is proud to be performing at the event and representing Bhutan.

Meanwhile, another festival would be organised later this year in September in Delhi. “We are trying our best to market our movies,” FAB President, Karma Tshering said.

Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Guwahati, Assam, Ladakh, and Kathmandu are also some potentially good places to market Bhutanese movies, he said.


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.


Related Posts

A Woman Of Pure Heart Wins Best Short Film Award

A film with a message, A Woman Of Pure Heart touches on various social issues in Bhutan.

May 08, 2018 18:33

New Film Shows How These Elite Runners Finished World's Hardest...

It usually takes a month to complete the Snowman Trek, but this group of athletes have done it in just two weeks.

Apr 23, 2018 10:41

Nge Tsawai Lama, a story of hope, aspiration and hard work

‘Nge Tsawai Lama’ is literally translated as ‘My Root Guru’. It is a story about how Gyem Dorji, who plays Lopen Pema,...

Oct 04, 2017 09:17

Dhaari Nhaaba – A Movie Not to Be Missed

The veteran director, Kesang P. Jigme has used all the magic tricks in his bag again to weave a compelling narrative.

Apr 21, 2018 21:14

The Next Guardian, a Story of Changing Times

The Next Guardian will compete against 14 others in the category of IDFA Competition for First Appearance. The...

Oct 30, 2017 11:45

Gyalsey, the Legacy of a Prince

In the 15 years of my life, the funniest yet saddest movie I have ever watched is Gyalsey, the legacy of a prince. Aired...

Jan 09, 2018 07:10



Drukair Orders New Aircraft That's Equipped With Latest Visual Technology

The new ClearVision technology on the aircraft allows pilots to get a clear picture of the runway while landing the aircraft.

Jul 19, 2018 12:47

After 9 Years, The Amochhu Bridge In Bhutan Finally Opened On 14 July 2018

The driving distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is now reduced to 57km from 81.2km

Jul 18, 2018 14:57


Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To Excel Holistically

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace, harmony and...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14


Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Jul 08, 2018 18:16

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable Experiences At The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower Secondary School,...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06


Cottage And Small Industry Which Saw 20% Growth Is A Pillar Of Bhutan’s Industry Sector

To date, the CSIs constitute more than 90 percent of Bhutan’s industry sector.

Jul 19, 2018 13:46

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23


Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some Culinary Delights You Must Not Miss!

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong Tshechu (Brawl Festival) In Bhutan

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the country,” said...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44


Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

Jul 17, 2018 17:19

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of Bhutan-India Friendship Ended With Colourful Traditional Dances

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the festival.

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!