19th Annual Film Awards to be held on February 21

Films covering both 2019 and 2020 will be judged separately for the two years

The National Film Commission of Bhutan (NFC) will organize the 19th Annual Film Awards of Bhutan (previously referred as the National Film Awards) on February 21, 2021, coinciding with the 41st Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King as a tribute and mark of humble gratitude to His Majesty for the most unstinted affection, support and Soelra being bestowed upon the film sector at all times by His Majesty The King.

The awards in the past were organized by the Film Association of Bhutan (FAB) with financial support from various government, corporate and private agencies. However, it is being organized by NFC this year upon the request of FAB for NFC to take over the awards.

According to the NFC, the 19th edition of the awards was initially scheduled to be held in May 2020 but was postponed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The 19th AFAB will now recognize films covering both 2019 and 2020 which will, however, be judged separately for the two years,” states the press release from the NFC.

Further, while awards were given in 31 categories in previous awards ceremony, the NFC has his time added two new categories to the 19th AFAB – Best Short and Best Documentary films to ensure that all film types and filmmakers get to share the same level of national prominence and recognition.

Shorts and documentaries in the past were recognized through separate short and documentary awards organized by FAB and other entities, according to the NFC.

The 19th AFAB will, however, follow the same format and award categories adopted by FAB in the past.

The NFC, meanwhile, is also endeavoring to make the future National Film Awards fundamentally different from the Annual Film Awards of Bhutan.

“NFC has plans to institutionalize a State-level National Film Awards in the future which will be designed to grant the highest form of state recognition to Bhutanese films, artists, and other film professionals with provisions to support and promote the award-winning films on the international stage,” states the NFC’s press release.

Meanwhile, the NFC was established in October 2019 under the provisions and empowerments of the Information Communications and Media Act 2018 to steer the growth and development of the film sector in Bhutan.

Staff Reporter from Thimphu