A Bhutanese film ‘Gangnam Girls’ won the Best Debut Feature Film Award at the 24th UK Asian Film Festival 2022 in London yesterday.
The film, produced by Samuh and directed by Charmi Chheda, was selected as the closing film of the festival on May 15.
According to a press release from Samuh, Gangnam Girls is one of the few female-centric films made in Bhutan. “The film was produced by Samuh to tell stories surrounding women and to encourage Bhutanese films that feature women directors and women in the lead roles.”
Charmi Chedda said that the award has encouraged her to tell more stories from Bhutan.
She said: “We never thought a small and simple film from Bhutan could travel and touch people’s hearts across continents. The film was made with honesty as each talent on the film stayed true to their art and probably that’s what is helping the audience connect with the film.”
The film, according to the press release, charts the journey of four childhood friends, who go separate ways after a major fallout. “A decade later, they reconnect for a house-warming event over a weekend where they discover that they still have a lot of pain and anger to deal with.”
Samuh’s chief executive officer, Nyema Zam, said that the film is a work of creative collaboration that brought together a team of dreamers, believers, and, most importantly, doers.
“At Samuh, we believe our lives are made of stories and stories connect us all. We are thrilled that this story of four modern Bhutanese women connected deeply with an audience that didn’t speak our language and many who didn’t even know about Bhutan,” she said.
The UK Asian Film Festival is the longest-running South Asian Film festival in the world produced by Tongues on Fire Limited. The festival is internationally recognised for showcasing the work of acclaimed talent in cinema and award-winning filmmakers.
The feature film also premiered at the Nepal International Film Festival 2022 in Nepal.