THE NEXT GUARDIAN (2017)
Duration: 74 min
Director: Arun Bhattarai & Dorottya Zurbó
Cinematography: Arun Bhattarai
Editing: Károly Szalai H.S.E
Sound: Rudolf Várhegyi H.A.S.E.
Music: Ádám Balázs
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In a remote village in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, Gyembo (16) and Tashi (15) aimlessly roam while their father meticulously polishes the ancient relics inside the altar of their family monastery. This family has been taking care of the monastery from one generation to the next for thousands of years. Following tradition, the father wants his son Gyembo to carry on the family heritage but he has other desires just like his transgender sister. The film through bittersweet micro-situations takes us inside a Bhutanese family where the contrasting dreams of two generations are caught in a time clash.
Festivals/Awards (Select Only)
Nominated for Best Documentary IDFA
Nominated for Best Documentary San Francisco International Film Festival
WINNER for Best Documentary Zsigmond Vilmos Film Festival
Five Flavours Film Festival
BIDF Budapest International Documentary Film Festival
Bhutan Film Association
Hungarian Film Week
Ambulante Documentary Film Festival
Cambodia International Film Festival
One World Film Festival
Salem Film Fest
San Francisco International Film Festival
Zsigmond Vilmos Film Festival
Docs Against Gravity
SEOUL International Women’s Film Festival
Arun Bhattarai’s 1st feature-length documentary The Next Guardian premiered at IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam at the First Appearance Competition in 2017. Since then it has been screened at more than 40 international festivals (True/False, Ambulante, San Francisco IDFF, MoMA DocFortnight, Camerimage, Docs Against Gravity, DOK.fest.München etc.) had theatrical releases and broadcasted around the world. The film was developed in several international workshops and pitching forums (IDFAcademy Summer School, Dare to Dream, TokyoDocs, AIDC etc.) and was supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, KRO-NCRV and the Creative Europe Media Fund.
His most recent television documentary, Kelden won The Asia Pitch and was screened in NHK World TV and KBS Korea. Before becoming an independent filmmaker, he worked as a TV director at the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) for more than 5 years. He graduated from the 1stedition of DocNomads Joint Master in documentary directing for which he was awarded a full Erasmus Mundus scholarship in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels in 2014.
Currently he is working on a short documentary Mountain Man. The project won the Best Pitch Prize at If/Then Global Short Pitch 2019 at IDFA2019. He is also developing his second feature- length documentary Gross National Happiness. The project won the Best Pitch South Asia Award at Dhaka Doclab 2019 and the IEFTA – International Emerging Film Talent Association Award that sponsored the director to attend the Producers Workshop and Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2020. The project also received the Tribeca Film Institute Awardat Docedge Kolkata 2020 that sponsored the director to attend the Tribeca Film Festival’s TFI Network market.
He established his own production company – Sound Pictures – dedicated to creative documentaries.