Tshering Lham Thaye abstract
The biggest strength of Bhutan is the support of the state and the government to cultural preservation and promotion. Audio visual media has found to be one of the most influential mediums in Bhutan. (Consulting&Associates, 2013).
While there exists a niche, few artistic films making the rounds of some International festival circuits (Traveller and Magicians 2003, Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait 2016, Honeygiver Among the Dogs 2016 ) But these are produced far and between and are targeted for International Festival/audiences.The main contributor to the Bhutanese film industry is the commercial film sector economically and socio-culturally, producing more than 300 films in its short film history.
These commercial films also remain the favourite of the Bhutanese audience triumphing over Bollywood and Hollywood giants. (Gyamtsho, Story of Bhutanese Film Industry, 2017).
It wasn’t long ago that the advent of these commercials Bhutanese films turned the Bhutanese audience away from the onslaught of popular Bollywood and International films that were the only media available then. It galvanized a revival of national interest to its own language and culture-averting a possible identity and existential crisis of the small country.
However, Television and Internet came to Bhutan only in the late 1990’s- its late entry means very less and only recent exposure to the Industry. Additionally, as a developing country; more basic and urgent sectors such as health, electricity, education take precedence.
So, although the infant industry continues to grow, it is a haphazard and uncoordinated growth lacking any research and strategic action that could jeopardize its future.