The Monk and The Gun directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji
The Monk and The Gun

Pawo Choyning Dorji’s The Monk and The Gun which World Premiered at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival has been selected by Bhutan as the official Academy Award nominee entry for for Best International Feature at the 2024 Academy Awards®

The decision was made by the Committee for Selection of Films for International Awards, formed by the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA). This marks the second time writer/director Pawo Choyning Dorji has been selected by Bhutan, and the second film selected by Bhutan in 24 years, after his first film, Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom made history when it was nominated for the Academy Award®.

Set in 2006, the film revolves around a group of monks, villagers, urbanites, and a hapless American antique arms collector, during Bhutan’s transition to democracy following the abdication of the King.

Kingdom of Bhutan, 2006. Modernization has finally arrived. Bhutan becomes the last country inthe world to connect to the internet and television, and now the biggest change of all: democracy. To teach the people how to vote, the authorities organize a mock election, but the locals seemunconvinced. Traveling to rural Bhutan where religion is more popular than politics, the election supervisor discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for the election day.

Starring in the film are Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa, Tandin Sonam, Harry Einhorn, Choeying Jatsho, Tandin Phubz,Yuphel Lhendup Selden, and Kelsang Choejay.

BICMA said “The Monk and The Gun stood out as the unanimous choice of the Selection Committee. The film has garnered acclaim for its innovative storytelling, unique thematic elements, strong narrative, and exceptional performances by the cast. It was seen as a true reflection of Bhutan, both in terms of its narrative and technical craftsmanship.”

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