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The Monk and the Gun

Fall Grants 2023 - Post-Production Stage

Pawo Choyning Dorji / Unknown / Bhutan, Taiwan, United States of America, France, Qatar / 107 min / Original Language: Dzongkha / Interests: Comedy, Drama


Kingdom of Bhutan, 2006. Modernisation has finally arrived. Bhutan became the last country in the world to connect to the internet and television, and now the biggest change of all—democracy. To teach the people how to vote, the authorities organise a mock election, but the locals seem unconvinced. Travelling to rural Bhutan, where religion is more popular than politics, the election supervisor discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for election day.


Pawo Choyning Dorji
Pawo Choyning Dorji
Pawo Choyning Dorji, Stephanie Lai, Jean-Christophe Simon, Hsu Feng
Production Company
Dingphu Dingphu: a 3 pigs Production (Bhutan), Jouney to the East Films Ltd (Taiwan), Films Boutique (France), Tomson Films (Taiwan), Closer Media (USA), Animandala (USA), N8 (USA), Wooden Trailer Productions (USA)

About the Director

Pawo Choyning Dorji started his filmmaking career under the guidance of film Director and renowned Buddhist Lama Khyentse Norbu. Pawo worked as an assistant for Norbu’s films’ Vara: A Blessing’ (2013) and ‘Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait’ (2016). Pawo made his directorial debut in 2019 with ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’. The film was shot in one of the remotest human settlements in the world, so remote that the production relied on solar batteries and local yak herders to be the film’s main cast. The film became a festival favourite, winning numerous awards, before making history by becoming the first Bhutanese film to secure an Oscar nomination when it was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. 'The Monk and the Gun' is Pawo’s second feature film as writer, director, and producer. Pawo is the youngest recipient of the Royal Order of Bhutan, The Druk Thuksey (The Heart Son of the Thunder Dragon), an award bestowed upon him by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on 17th December 2022. The award recognises individuals for distinguished service to the Bhutanese nation and people.

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