Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom
This wonderful film tells the story of a young disillusioned teacher from the capital city, Thimphu, who is sent, against his will, to the most remote school in the world. Lunana is situated high up in the mountains in the extreme northwest of Bhutan, an eight day hike from the bus stop and the end of the road. The film is informed by the stunning landscape of the Himalayas, the beauty of the Bhutanese people and their customs and beliefs. It is all about home, finding where we are from, and where we belong in the search of happiness
This film was made against all the odds. It was well received and was the first Bhutanese nomination for an Oscar last year. It should have won the Oscar for the hardest movie to make! With no electricity and no network connections, everything had to be brought in by mule or carried in backpacks for the three month shoot. With only several dozen residents there was nowhere for the crew to stay so they had to build their own temporary accommodation on arrival. With a budget of only $300,000, portable solar panels provided just enough power to charge the single digital camera used to shoot the entire film, but not enough for the director, Dorji, to play back any of the daily footage he had taken. The cast was made up of non-professional actors and the local villagers, all first time actors who had never even seen a movie before, let alone acted in one!
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom was shown locally thanks to the Borderlines Film Festival