Saturday, January 9, 2010

Director with the Midas Touch

Source: Kuenselonline

24 December, 2009 - If you meet Tshering Wangyel, 37, on the streets of Thimphu or anywhere else in the country, he might as well be another stranger. But if one were to talk about the list of movies he has directed, most would recognise him for his work and contribution to the Bhutanese film industry.
The director is successful and famous because of the list of good films to his name. He believes in working hard with passion and sincerity. And he is rightfully the man behind the success of popular films like Tshering Meto, Gasa Lamai Singye II and the Golden Cup and stars like heartthrob Cencho Dorji, charmer Tshering Phuntshok, and chocolate boy Karma Choechhong.

A movie freak since childhood, Tshering Wangyel, recalls how he bunked classes to watch first shows of new movies released at Lugar theatre. “My family and friends believed that I’d become an actor one day,” he said. Tshering Wangyel also had a knack for stage shows and stand-up comedy, in which he participated as a child.

But it was Gasa Lamai Singye, the first movie he watched, which inspired him to try something new. Taking risk by becoming an independent filmmaker, he directed his first film “Rewaa” and the audience loved it. But, despite that, Tshering Wangyel said there were some things, which were done wrong, and that he’d learnt from those mistakes. “I’m not ashamed of my first film though,” he said.

So far, he has directed 20 films, some of which include Seldrup, Szhendhen and Home Sweet Home. His next film “Sha Dang Simo”, starring Cencho Dorji and Lhaki Dolma will be released this December.

Tshering Wangyel will also bring to the Bhutanese audience a flash of Bollywood idol coupled with Miss Bhutan beauties. His movie, “Sem Gawai Tasha”, currently underway, stars Kelly Dorji, Miss Bhutan Tshokey Tshomo Karchung, Cencho Dorji, Karma Choechhong and Shelkar Choden. “It’s the most challenging film I’ve worked on because the international and professional actor, Kelly Dorji, is working on it and I’m having my fingers crossed,” he said.

Professionalism and better equipment are what the director strives for. He also hopes for an acting school in Bhutan, because most actors don’t come from professional acting background. “Very few have done stage shows before and some are born with the talent,” he said.

Tshering Wangyel did his B.Sc. in Agriculture from Netherlands and worked in the ministry of agriculture till 2000. After that he went to UK for further studies in film directing and editing. Then, he joined BBS as a TV producer, where he produced a whopping 130 music videos.

For all his success, he considers himself blessed and fortunate. And his plans for now are to continue working hard. “I’ll continue to make commercial films if I’m not kicked out from the industry,” he said, with a laugh.

By Kinley Wangmo

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