FAB office bearers elected

Need of movie theatres cited as the dire need  

l Usha Drukpa, Thimphu


Bhutan’s film industry voted for fair judgments of the annual film awards, as they reposed their fate on film-maker, Karma Tshering, by voting him President, Film Association of Bhutan (FAB). Before the elections, his main message was fair judgments at the annual film award ceremony. Along with the President, other office-bearers were also elected yesterday – August 9, 2017.

Nidup Dorji, a veteran actor, was elected Vice President. For both the posts, there were two candidates. Tobgyal (Mila), former President was the aspirant for President and Chencho Dorji (actor) for the post of the vice-president.

Swearing to serve the office with utmost dedication, President elect, Karma Tshering thanked all the members of Bhutanese film fraternity for believing in him and electing him as their new President.

“One thing that I would like to focus on as the President is to ensure that fair judgments are given during the annual film award ceremony. This is very important because the awards are rewards to recognize their hard works and dedications,” he said.

Underling that every year many film-makers and artists get disgruntled over the awards, Karma Tshering said that it will soon be history. “This will not happen anymore. I will ensure that awards go to those who deserves,” he said.

According to him, the first task or responsibility is correcting the criterions for the nominations. “We will do the ratings properly and appoint an independent penal of jury who have the highest integrity to make sure that we do not get any complaints after the award ceremonies,” he added.

Karma also said that in the next few months, FAB will be hosting this year’s film festival. “But before that, a week-long retreat programme to discuss on the guidelines and other relevant rules on the annual film award process, will be held. “We may also have to set new guidelines if the need is there,” said Karma Tshering.

Talking about the challenges faced by FAB, he said that one main hindrance of FAB is lack of adequate theaters in the country.

“His Majesty has already granted land, studio and budget for two cinema halls in the southern part of Bhutan. Now, we will start with the constructions as soon as possible.” The President said everything will be done, before his tenure of four years end. “Before my tenure comes to end, I will make sure that there as many cinema halls as possible across the country,” he said.

The Former President of FAB, Tobgay (Mila) said Bhutanese movies have become better compared to the past. He said that the FAB needs a flat form if the Bhutanese movies are to be screened internationally.

He also talked about the challenges that FAB faces, one being “the less number of theatres in the country.” He said His Majesty has already granted land, studio and budget for two cinema halls in the southern part of Bhutan. “After the elections, we will begin construction,” he said, adding that FAB is “at the verge of calling tenders”.

Actor Chencho Dorji who the Vice President of ABF said he has three priorities. The first and foremost would be to negotiate with the government to have the film commission. This is important especially for the welfare of ABF members.

He also said that till date Bhutan’s film industry is in the negative list when it pertains to foreign direct investment (FDI). Saying that filming is a media that can explore anything, he called for a proper Act and Regulation for FDI in the entertainment sector. Saying FDI in such ventures are “very dangerous” he said, adding that he would negotiate with the government and have proper Rules and Regulations, which would benefits both the parties.

“Along with these processes we can exchange many ideas and we can learn from international experts,” he added.

He said other contestants say that they want to revive the film festival criteria and others, which he says “are minor at the moment”. He also said that without budget, nothing is possible and that is why a film commission is needed.

“Film Industry has a future for our younger ones and if we start working hard now and establish cinema halls in every Dzongkhag, many problems will be solved,” said Chencho Dorji.

Tandin Sonam (Actor) who has been elected as the chairperson and also representing legal side for ABF said that it is high time for ABF to perform its main duties. “We had elections before also but this time we did it systematically and in proper procedures as we have also called people from the election commission board, Royal Bhutan Police and others,”Tandin said.

Apart from President elect Karma Tshering, VP elect Nidup Dorji, Board members were elected.  Film directors Wangchuk Talop, Dugay, Sonam Lhendup Tshering, Rinzang .and  Chencho Dorji (DOP), are the new Board members. Kinley Tshering (Script writer) has also been elected as a Board member.

Meanwhile, His Majesty the King has granted ngultrum (NU) five million to construct movie theatres in five Dzongkhags and Nu 7.2 million to establish studios.

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