The aim is to provide a platform for amateurs to explore film making 

Film: To commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the People’s Initiative in Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary (PICSA) in collaboration with Sherubtse college launched the Mobile Phone Cinema (MPC) festival on May 2.

The MPC festival involves shooting of short documentaries or films using a mobile phone.

PICSA held their fourth event at Sherubtse College to coincide with the birth anniversary of His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo and Teacher’s day.

PICSA media officer, Tshering Zangmo said that the objective of the MPC festival is to open up the world of cinema to amateurs.

“We observed that film making is becoming popular in Bhutan by the day. MPC will provide a platform for these interested individuals,” she said.

Now, anyone of any age can participate in the MPC festival. The films can be of any genre but only filmed through mobile phone cameras. The length of the films should not be less than 30 seconds and not more than five minutes.

“We will be assessing the films and the best film would be given the opportunity to participate in the international film festival,” she said. “The cinematography of films won’t matter much because the judgment would be based on the concept that participants deliver.”

PICSA will then support the winners to develop their videos into a longer film. The festival is supposed to promote education, art and innovation, thereby contributing to Gross National Happiness as a whole. Participants have until August 2 to submit their films.

The festival also marks the advent of a new form of creative expression, which is simple, affordable and very convenient to use. Unlike regular films that require lots of money, people and time, the MPC is an easy, cheap and one-person operation.

“It is difficult for Bhutanese movies to get to the Oscars or any major awards. However, short films and documentaries from Bhutan are being recognised at the film festivals,” Tshering Zangmo said.

As a part of the event, an open marathon was also organised by PICSA in the morning with the theme “Lets BEGIN a greener Bhutan.” After the launch of MPC by the economic affairs minister, Norbu Wangchuk, cultural programs including an interdepartmental dance competition was also held in the afternoon.

Parallel to the PICSA event, Sherubtse College in collaboration with Project DANTAK also organised a science exhibition where students from different schools of the eastern region participated.

Students exhibited working models of various systems that included earthquake and flash flood alerts, LED fencing, smart villages, and automatic milk churners, among others.

Towards the evening, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk also inaugurated the Namgyel Phodrang, a royal exhibit constructed through contributions from final year students.

By Tshering Wangdi,  Trashigang