Bhutan climate change film selected for international festival


Yangyel lhaden

One-minute Bhutanese film ‘Snow Lion and The Glaciologist’ was selected among the top 50 films from 35 countries for the Mobile Film Festival awards ceremony on World Climate Day in Paris on December 8 .

The international film festival is committed to climate issues and the theme of the 17th edition is “Making peace with nature”, launched in partnership with the United Nations Development Program.

In the film, director Arun Bhattarai portrays a glaciologist, Phuntsho Tshering, with the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) going on foot to inspect glaciers every year, and what it takes for a small country like the ours to protect our community from climate change.

Arun Bhattarai said he was impressed at how difficult it is to monitor glaciers with limited infrastructure in our country, unlike developed countries where experts use roads or helicopters to monitor glaciers. “It inspired me to document the video and it concerned me when Phuntsho Tshering said the Glacial Lake Flood (GLOF) is a time bomb.”

In a poetic narrative, Arun Bhattarai depicts the dilemmas facing his protagonist, Phuntsho Tshering: a struggle between his heart and his head, his beliefs and his upbringing. The cultural belief that mountains, abodes of wrathful deities, must not be touched, otherwise they will trigger misery and destruction, bothers Phuntsho Tshering. On the other hand, carrying out empirical studies on glaciers is his job.

Residents residing near the mountains have warned him against his annual visit to the mountain to take the measurements. They fear that something bad will happen.

“Snow Lion and the Glaciologist” is an excerpt from a 20 minute short film that Arun Bhattarai is working on with Phuntsho Tshering called “Mountain Man”.

He said he took part in the film festival with the aim of shedding light on the NCHM officials, who monitor the glaciers every year, and their challenges so they can get the international support they urgently need. .

The 50 films selected for the MFF awards are available on the MFF website and on social media.

The MFF will award nine prizes valued at $ 30,000 in grant form in nine categories. Between November 2 and November 30, audiences can participate in the People’s Choice Award by voting online for their favorite film via SensCritique.

SensCritique is only available in French; however, viewers can click on the stars that appear below the movie.

Edited by Tshering Palden


Darcy J. Skinner