Tashi Dema 

The Department of Information and Media (DoIM) had recently signed an agreement with a private consultancy firm to develop a roadmap for creative sector.

The objective and overall goal of the development of the roadmap, according to the department’s Facebook post, is to promote the creative industry, diversify the economy, create jobs and generate income opportunities in this sector.

It also stated that the roadmap would support in achieving self-sufficiency in the country. “This is in line with the department’s core mandate to promote the creative industry in the country,” the Facebook post stated.

While DoIM officials were not available for comment, those in the creative sector said the roadmap is a duplication and a waste of resources.

A source, who has been actively involved in the creative sector, said the roadmap comes at a time when the National Film Commission is midway through a study on the roadmap for film sector and the economic affairs ministry completed a study on the creative sector.

“I feel there is so many duplications and waste of resources without any impact,” the source said.

According to the source, the creative industry or sector has immense potentials to drive economic growth and create jobs, but while various government agencies attempt to optimise the potential of the sector, efforts have been separated and siloed.

Sources also said that several studies are carried out by various agencies, investing huge funds.

“While the need for data-driven policy-making is important, a holistic approach to the sector’s development is equally necessary,” a source said. “Otherwise, individual government agencies undertaking different studies will only result in waste of public resources.”

Sources also said there is a need to synthesise all the reports and studies to develop an overall roadmap for the sector.

Another source said DoIM should try to use the available data and studies to further improve the creative industry than investing in studies that are already available. “But there has never been transparency in its work.”

The source said the department once conducts studies and does not even publish the reports at times.

Meanwhile, the study conducted by the economic affairs ministry called ‘Analysis of Bhutanese sector’ in December last year was aimed at developing visions and strategic direction for the Bhutanese film sector by assessing the global development and understanding the current state of the sector.

The plan was aimed to build a database of Bhutanese films, which could be accessed by policymakers, film researchers, interested individuals and the global community.

The database was to be used to understand the current state of the film sector in Bhutan, determine the status of the Bhutanese film sector and assess the economic impact of films on the Bhutanese economy.

The other study, ‘Film sector public survey report’ which was conducted by National Film Commission also in December last year, recommended the need to improve storytelling, diversify themes and cultural creativity, and plan construction and improvement of cinema infrastructures and services across the country.

It also stated the creative sector should not only focus on the domestic market, but also try to attract global film and creative consumers.

It called for the need to provide online and physical training or workshops for the film sector.