Chhimi Dema  

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is Bhutan’s first film to be nominated for the Academy Awards.

The film is a nominee for the international feature film category among four other films. The film was nominated from 15 shortlisted films for the category. 

The nomination was made on February 8.

The Academy Awards, also known as Oscars, is regarded as the most prestigious and significant award in the entertainment industry worldwide. The awards are international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements.

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, shot in Lunana on solar-charged batteries, has received many international recognitions and awards. It has been featured in international newspapers such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The film was screened in Bhutanese theatres in 2020. It was screened in other countries such as Japan, Brazil, India, Switzerland, USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland and South Korea, among other countries.

Lunana is a film about finding a place where you belong. The film follows a school teacher and his unrelenting dream to leave for Australia to become a singer.

 The cinematography of the films leaves one in awe of nature in Lunana, a highland region of the country. The film could serve as a yardstick of storytelling in the Bhutanese film industry.

The film’s director Pawo Choyning Dorji wrote on his Facebook page: “I am so very honoured and proud, not as the filmmaker of an Oscar nominated film but as a Bhutanese.”

He wrote that the “improbable journey” of the film from Bhutan to the Oscars was a celebration of all the possibilities in art and creativity.

“We hope our film, displaying very simple and essential human values from one of the most remote places in the world, will continue to touch peoples’ hearts, especially during these difficult times,” Pawo wrote.

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27.