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Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom Image

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Gateway | Dragons & Tigers

Bhutan is said to be the happiest country in the world. For twenty-something Ugyen, however, it feels like anything but. An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital, Ugyen dreams of getting a visa to relocate to Australia. But before he can do that, he must finish his final year of government teaching service in Bhutan’s most remote village school. With more yak dung than people and an altitude of nearly 5,000 metres, Lunana is a shock to the city slicker’s system. But as the seasons pass, the students, community, and traditions of the place grow on him and slowly begin to alter his perception of a country he’d previously taken for granted.

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a heartfelt, humanist tale about the unexpected ways that life can change us. Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, the producer of Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (VIFF 16), the film is a visual balm, awash in striking, meditative imagery of Bhutan’s clouded mountains and valleys. Nature and spirituality figure prominently in Lunana’s daily life, and the film captures the richness of a culture rarely exhibited on screen.

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North American premiere
Country of Origin: Bhutan
Year: 2019
Running Time: 109 mins
Format: DCP Encrypted
Language:In Dzongkha with English subtitles
Related Links: Facebook
Cast: Sherab Dorji, Ugyen Norbu Lhendup, Kelden Lhamo Gurung, Pema Zam
Producer: Pawo Choyning Dorji, Steven Xiang, Stephanie Lai, Jia Honglin
Screenwriter: Pawo Choyning Dorji
Cinematographer: Jigme Tenzing
Editor: Ku Hsiao-Yun
Production Company: Dangphu Dingphu: a 3 pigs production
Print Source: Dangphu Dingphu


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