First streaming platform for Bhutanese films
Check out BESKOP - the first streaming platform for Bhutanese films!
Are you staying home this season and ran out of activities to do? Check out BESKOP - the first streaming platform for Bhutanese films! The site consists of all genres of films including local blockbusters. The films are produced by local Bhutanese filmmakers.
The platform was launched recently in an attempt to share Bhutanese films with the world. The length of the films ranges from short films at 8mins to 2 hours long. You can stream the films at a nominal fee of USD 2.50 to USD5.99 for 24 hours.
Through the films, you will be able to get insights into the cultures and Bhutanese way of life. Aside from supporting the filmmaking industry, you will also be contributing directly to the COVID-19 fund in Bhutan. 20% of the proceeds will go toward the COVID-19 fund to support the Kingdom in its COVID-19 management.
The Bhutan's film industry began in 1989 with the release of the first Bhutanese feature film ‘Gasa Lamai Singye’ which is based on a romantic ballad. Over the years, the volume of films produced increased steadily and Bhutanese films have successfully taken over Hollywood and Bollywood films screened in the theatres. Today, the film industry produces around 15 to 20 films a year.
Since the release of the first feature film in the Bhutan theatre, there are two official entries to Oscars, with the first submission in 1999. 21 years later, the local film Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, released in February this year, became the official entry for the Oscars, 93rd Academy Awards. The film was shot in one of the remotest schools in the world in Lunana village, 16000 feet above the sea level. The Oscar nominations will be announced by February 2021 and the award ceremony will be held on April 25 in Los Angeles. The film was shot with equipment run on solar batteries across three months on a shoestring budget of USD 300,000.
Although the Kingdom only has a few cinema halls around the country, there are many ad-hoc and makeshift screening outlets throughout the country. Traditionally, most of the Bhutanese films target a domestic audience with folk songs and dances. In the last decade, filmmakers are beginning to make films that are out of the box. As of 2020, there are five cinemas in Bhutan - one cinema in Phuentsholing district and four cinemas in the capital city, Thimphu; Lugar Theatre, Trowa Theatre, City Cinema and Ninda Bioscope. The cinemas only screen local Bhutanese movies and screening is available all year round.
BESKOP aims to be the platform that showcases films from non-mainstream filmmakers, both in their early works and their recent works. Some of these films have been successfully screened internationally, some only screened in Bhutan, while others, never really had an opportunity for a proper 'release' until BESKOP.
So, go ahead, pick a Bhutanese film, and enjoy it with your loved ones while you stay at home.