The new association was launched to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo

Film: The Bhutanese film industry marked yet another milestone yesterday with the launch of a new film association, Cine Bhutan.

Cine Bhutan was launched to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, and consists of five founding members from the film industry.

Cine Bhutan is a registered civil society organisation (CSO).  During the launch, the finance minister, Namgay Dorji, also launched a memorandum of association and service rules, 2014, for the members registered with the association, along with a new logo, website and database of the association.

One of the founding members, Pema Tshering, 42, who has been working as a producer for 17 years, said the association aimed to bring the industry together to become one force for the development of the film industry in the country.

“Through the association, we’ll protect and promote the interest of every form of film, and every profession of the film industry,” he said.

Since the making of the country’s first movie, Gasa Lamey Singye, in 1989, the Bhutanese film industry has evolved but challenges remain, he said.

Besides a lack of financial resources, the absence of movie theatres in places outside Thimphu, Paro, Phuentsholing and Gelephu is a challenge.

“When movies are screened in different places at different times, it adds to the cost,” Pema Tshering said.

The association also aims to assist in the implementation of the national film policy, to help in the growth and development of the film industry, and also create employment opportunities.

The national film policy, one of the pledges by the government, is currently at a draft stage.

Another founding member, Kesang P Jigme, 41, who has been working as a director for 17 years, said the new association isn’t aiming to compete with the existing film associations.

“We want to provide another avenue for people in the film industry to be given equal opportunities, such as trainings, further studies, production funds and protection through comprehensive rules and regulations,” he said. “The association will provide assistance to produce quality films of international standard, reflecting the core values of GNH, and end the piracy of films in the market.”

To fulfil the association’s objectives, the source of funds, as per the Civil Society Organisation Act, will be from membership fees, donations, grants, subsidies and financial assistance among others.

Today, there are about 900 people employed with the film industry.

As of now, the association has yet to register its members.

By Thinley Zangmo