Bhutan’s Oscar Entry ‘The Monk and the Gun’ Sells Nearly Worldwide (EXCLUSIVE)

Bhutan’s Oscar Entry ‘The Monk and the Gun’ Sells Nearly Worldwide (EXCLUSIVE)

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Bhutan’s official Oscar entry “The Monk and the Gun,” Pawo Choyning Dorji‘s follow-up to “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” has been acquired by more distributors in key territories.

Rolling off premieres at Telluride, Toronto, Rome and Busan, the crowdpleaser has been acquired by MFA+ Distribution (Germany, Austria), Edko Films (Hong Kong, Macau), Officine Ubu (Italy) and Maxam Inc. (Japan). The film is represented by Films Boutique in international markets. The movie was also acquired by Roadside Attraction for the U.S. in a deal negotiated with UTA, which is repping the film in North America.

Previous deals were scored with Pyramide Distribution (France), September Films (Benelux), Rialto Distribution (Australia), Future Films (Scandinavia), A Contracorriente (Spain), Lev Films (Israel), Aurora Films (Poland), Trigon (Switzerland), Alambique Films (Portugal) and Impact Films (India and Indian Subcontinent).

“The Monk and the Gun” is set in the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2006. Modernization has finally arrived and Bhutan becomes the last country in the world to connect to the internet and television, as well as adopt a democracy. To teach the people how to vote, the authorities organize a mock election, but the locals seem unconvinced. 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. The cast is led by Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa and Tandin Sonam, among others.

The film has won several accolades, including the Audience Award at Vancouver, the Special Jury Prize at Roma, where it held its European premiere, the IMdB Audience Choice Award at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and the Director’s Choice Award at the Illuminate Film Festival in Santa Barbara.

“The Monk and the Gun” is produced by Jean-Christophe Simon (“Birds of Passage,” “Subtraction”), Hsu Feng (“Farewell My Concubine”), Stephanie Lai (“Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom”) and Choyning Dorji. Executive producers are Zhang Xin (“Ezra”), BAFTA nominee and PGA Award winner William Horberg (“Kite Runner,” “Queens Gambit”), Lisa Henson (“Pinocchio”), Kris Eiamsakulrat, Chayamporn Taeratanachai and Janee Pennington.

“The Monk and the Gun” is produced by Dangphu Dingphu: A 3 Pigs Production and Journey to the East Films. It’s a co-production with Films Boutique and Tomson Films in association with Closer Media, Animandala, N8 Studios and Wooden Trailer Prods. 

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