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« Director Thomas Balmes captures a vanishing way of life in remote Bhutan in this Sundance cinematography award-winning documentary. » Stephen Farber, HollywoodReporter




Bhutan is one of the least developed countries in the world. There is barely any industry, and electricity was not commonplace until very recently. This meant that people led their lives without TV, let alone Internet. But both arrived at last in 1999, following an official announcement by King Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The advent of electricity was revolutionary for the tiny mountainside villages in this Himalayan kingdom.

Peyangki is a dreamy and solitary eight-year-old monk who lives in the last village to get hooked up. In anticipation of this big event, Peyangki’s uncle decides to buy a TV set, which will take a three-day journey to Bhutan’s capital of Thimpu. Peyangki will go along on the trip, his first foray into the big city. « Do you expect TV to make you happy ? » asks the lama of the last five monks at Peyangki’s monestry. The answer is a resounding « Yes ».

The gorgeous shots of the scenery speak more than the people in this film, in which Thomas Balmès his tradition of being a silent witness to cultural developments around the world.

A film directed by Thomas Balmès (Director, Author, Director of Photography, Producer)

Year of production: 2014

Length: 80’

Production: TBC Productions, Quark Productions, Making Movies

Broadcasters: ARTE France, BBC, ITVS International, WDR, NHK, YLE (Finland), DR (Danemark), SVT (Sweden), Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation (Netherlands), YesDocu (Israel), VRT (Belgium)

With the support of: La Région Ile-de-France, CNC, Finnish Film Foundation, Procirep-Angoa, AVEK, MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

Distribution: Universal Pictures





Best Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary Competition, Sundance 2014


Sundance Film Festival, Park City, USA — IDFA « Masters » section, World Premiere 2013 — DocPoint, Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Finland 2014 — ZagrebDox, Croatia — Screening at Danish Film School, part of EDN’s Doc Marathon, Copenhagen, Denmark — One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic — Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria — Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Images of the 21st Century, Greece — Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, Washington, USA — Cleveland Film Festival, USA — Chop Shots Documentary Film Festival Southeast Asia, Jakarta — Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival, Canada — San Francisco International Film Festival, USA — Trento Film Festival, Italy — Planete+ Doc Film Festival, Warsaw and Wroclaw — “Best of” Trento Film Festival screenings at the Italian Cinematheque in Milan, Italy — International Documentary Film Festival ‘Encuentros del Otro Cine’, EDOC, Quito, Guayaquil and other Ecuadorian cities, Ecuador — Documentary Edge Festival, Auckland & Wellington, New Zealand — Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK — MakeDox, Creative Documentary Film Festival, Skopje, Macedonia — Moscow International Film Festival, Russia — Annual “Best of Hot Docs” Vancouver Screening Series, Canada — Nantucket Film Festival, USA — Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Australia — Art Festival Watou, Belgium — Pärnu International Documentary and Anthrology Film Festival, Estonia — Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia — Part of open-air film screenings “Zomerfilms”, Leuven, Belgium — Screenings at Documentary Film Center, Moscow, Russia — Calgary International Film Festival, Canada — Message to Man, International Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia — International Documentary Film Festival Flahertiana, Perm, Russia — Branchage Film Festival, Bailiwick of Jersey — Bergen International Film Festival, Norway — CNEX Documentary Film Festival, Taipei City, Republic of China (Taiwan) — Camden International Film Festival, USA — Milwaukee Film Festival, USA — Kyiv International Documentary Film Festival “Kinolitopys”, Ukraine — Cinemigrante, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, USA — Tel Aviv Spirit Film Festival, Israel — iDOCS 2014 International Documentary Forum, Beijing, China — Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York, USA — Guth Gafa Documentary Film Festival, Ireland — DocsDF International Documentary Film Festival, Mexico City, Mexico — Hangon elokuvajuhlat, Hanko, Suomi — Banff Mountain Film and book Festival, Canada — CPH:DOX Copenhagen Int.Documentary Film Festival, Denmark — Austin Asian American Film Festival, USA — Special Screening in Warsaw, Poland — Cinema Verite Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Tehran, Iran — Boulder International Film Festival, Colorado, USA — Sedona International Film Festival, AZ USA — Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival, São Paulo, Brazil — Madeira Film Festival

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