Thinley Namgay  

Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) began a 10-day online capacity building training for the Bhutan Film Industry in Thimphu on October 7.

Korea International Cooperation Service (KOICS)—the implementing agency of the KOICA—is facilitating the training.

KOICA has been supporting Bhutanese Film Industry with training and equipment since 2013.

Thirty-two Bhutanese are attending the training.

The training will cover commercial film planning and development, storytelling, directing,  post-production process, basics of scenario-plot and selection, study of characters and types of films among others.

Trainees were supposed to go to Korea for the training but it had to conducted online due to Covid-19 pandemic.

KOICA started ‘country-focused programme’ for Bhutan in 2018.

Dorji Wangchuk, a participant, said that the training was crucial for Bhutanese film industry. “Getting trained by the seasoned Korean Film Industry is instrumental for our progress.”

Tenzin Gyeltshen, information and media officer with National Film Commission (NFC), said that Bhutan film industry was faced with many challenges.  Multi-tasking with no specialisation in one area, lack of market in international platforms, limited film theatres in the country, lack of post-production facility, lack of capacity building programmes and exposure visits, he said, were some of the challenges.

“In terms of screenplay, Bhutan has the potential for huge film content considering the rich culture, rich sources of stories and young talents,” said Tenzin Gyeltshen, adding that there was a need for formal training in screenwriting.

On an average, 15 films are produced in the country. There are 140 registered production houses.

However, Tenzin Gyeltshen, said that the construction of film studio was underway and that the outer structure was expected to completed by December this year.

Programme Coordinator of the KOICA, Eunkyoung Koh, said that Bhutan had requested KOICA’s support for the film studio. “We are requesting the professionals from Korea to address this. Film industry is important for Bhutan.”