Magazine article Screen International

Asian Shadows Picks Up New Currents Entry 'Red Phallus' (Exclusive)

Magazine article Screen International

Asian Shadows Picks Up New Currents Entry 'Red Phallus' (Exclusive)

Article excerpt

Bhutanese filmmaker Tashi Gyeltshen’s debut feature is a co-production between Bhutan, Nepal and Germany.

Asian Shadows has picked up international rights to Bhutanese director Tashi Gyeltshen’s debut feature The Red Phallus, which is premiering in Busan’s New Currents competition.

Set in a remote valley in Bhutan, the film follows a teenaged girl who lives with her father, a traditional craftsman of wooden phalluses. Feeling trapped by the belief systems of her community, she starts a relationship with a married man from the lowest caste of the village.

The film is produced by Gyeltshen’s Studio 108 in collaboration with Kathmandu-based Icefall Productions, founded by rising Nepalese producer Ram Krishna Pokharel, and Kristina Konrad’s Berlin-based production outfit weltfilm.

The cast is headed by Tshering Euden and Singye, both also making their feature debuts, while the crew includes established cinematographer Jigme T Tenzing (Honeygiver Among The Dogs).

When at project stage, the film was selected by Locarno film festival’s Open Doors programme, where it won one of the two Open Doors grants, funded by the festival, the Municipality of Bellinzona and Swiss fund Visions Sud Est. It was also selected for the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum’s Work-In-Progress Lab in 2018.

“Nepal and Bhutan have a lot of similarities in geography, culture and language,” said Pokharel, who met Gyeltshen at Open Doors. …

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