As the first site for streaming films from Bhutan we are excited to not only share films with the world, but to also unravel and share the story of Bhutanese cinema.
Bhutan’s cinema started in 1989 with the film “Gasa Lama Singye”…
It was made by Bhutan’s first filmmaker Ugyen Wangdi. His documentaries are available here for streaming (currently Price of Education and soon Price of Letter). The first film of Bhutan had a very small release, as at the time there was no infrastructure to actually distribute and screen films.
After this pivotal work, other films were slowly produced with a few self-trained filmmakers taking up cameras. Without any film schools in the country, nor any other precedent of filmmaking, Bhutan’s film industry has grown remarkably into a full fledged industry with an average of 20 feature films being produced every year. Although we have only a few real cinema halls around the country, we have many ad hoc and makeshift screening and distribution methods and outlets for audiences and markets all over Bhutan.
Today most films in Bhutan target a domestic audience, with songs and dance, and a more formulaic Bollywood-inspired structure, which does well in the local market. After Ugyen Wangdi, around 2010, a handful of other filmmakers started to make films that didn’t fit the model or follow the formulas- short films, documentaries, and animations. Most of them used small mini DV handicams and no professional sound or color treatment. Sometimes their teams were just themselves and one or two friends. As they were primarily non-commercial, and promised no returns, these films had both limited budgets (if any) and limited markets and platforms. This is where BESKOP situates itself, at the beginning of Bhutan’s cinematic journey- presenting films by our first filmmaker, and films by pioneering non-mainstream filmmakers, both their early works and their recent works. Some have been successful in film festivals around the world, some only screened domestically, and some, due to circumstances and lack of platform, never really had a proper “release” until beskopbhutan.com
We hope to add different films as often as possible, and slowly start turning this site into a center for all genres of films from Bhutan, including local blockbusters, but it will always be curated, and thus, always special. Enjoy!