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A documentary film how Bhutan became an inspiration for both developing and developed countries.
A documentary film how Bhutan became an inspiration for both developing and developed countries.
182 backers pledged €12,205 to help bring this project to life.

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A Tiny Country with Big Ideas, A Documentary

€12,205

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You may be asking whether the world really needs another film about Bhutan when Western media have already devoted so much attention to this tiny mountain kingdom of less than 800,000 people, celebrating its tenacious devotion to its traditions as well as its program of Gross National Happiness.

Bhutan's presentation in media is usually very one-dimensional. Westerners often travel to Bhutan with an idea of what they want to see, rarely look beyond the surface.
Bhutan's presentation in media is usually very one-dimensional. Westerners often travel to Bhutan with an idea of what they want to see, rarely look beyond the surface.

There is more to Bhutan, however than colourful temples, traditional dress and the institutionalisation of well-being. Bhutan is a country where ordinary people as well as government agencies are facing the everyday challenge of maintaining their own cultural identity while finding their place in an increasingly global and technological world. We traveled to Bhutan to learn more about this unique place firsthand by talking with people who live there.

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, where most of the buildings are less than 10 years old, is rapidly changing
Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, where most of the buildings are less than 10 years old, is rapidly changing

We wanted to speak to people are making a difference: not just the politicians setting the future direction of the country, but also entrepreneurs building businesses in a land where happiness is prioritised over material goods, postage stamp designers whose work helps to raise funds for further economic development, filmmakers who tour remote parts of the country to show their movies and engage with their audiences, and artists taking on a wider social responsibility by helping indebted farmers in the countryside.

Interview with Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister of Bhutan
Interview with Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister of Bhutan

We came back from Bhutan with terabytes of material, and we want to create a short documentary movie about a country that is an inspiration to both developed and developing countries for its unique approach to cultural and environmental preservation, and for how it is leapfrogging traditional industrialised powers in many ways.

Medical delivery drones being tested in front of the National Referral Hospital. Photo courtesy of Matternet.
Medical delivery drones being tested in front of the National Referral Hospital. Photo courtesy of Matternet.

 

Clean energy generated by hydropower is Bhutan’s biggest export. Bhutan is a global role model on environmental conservation as the country absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, and pledged to remain carbon neutral in perpetuity.
Clean energy generated by hydropower is Bhutan’s biggest export. Bhutan is a global role model on environmental conservation as the country absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, and pledged to remain carbon neutral in perpetuity.

We need your help in producing this movie. Bhutan is notoriously expensive to travel to, and requires special filming permits. We have already covered these expenses, but we need help with post-production of the video material. Works That Work is an independent magazine, which means we are fully dependent on our audience. Please spread the word and consider supporting us. Thank you.

Talking postage stamp (miniature vinyl), 1973
Talking postage stamp (miniature vinyl), 1973

EXCERPT FROM THE DOCUMENTARY

In 1967, Bhutan published the world’s first three-dimensional postage stamps with NASA space images. The stamps were sold to international collectors, and the revenue funded Bhutan’s roads, schools and hospitals.  In the 1970s, the largest source of foreign exchange was the sales of postage stamps, and Bhutan create a series of innovative stamps to appeal to the collectors. (Get the extremely rare original stamp (when choosing the €150 pledge).

World's first 3D stamps, 1967
World's first 3D stamps, 1967

 

Stretch Goal

We don't want to stretch your patience or wallets, but here are some ideas what could happen if we raise more than the target. We do need a film narrator, and instead of an anonymous voice, we could work with a well known voice that brings something special to the story. We are in contact with Tilda Swinton's agent, discussing a possibility of her narrating the film. Nothing confirmed yet, but there is interest. This would eat a big chunk of our budget, so we'd need about €15k to make that happen. If you support the film now, you are effectively becoming Tilda's sponsor!

Other ideas is to organise the film screenings also outside of the Netherlands. Do let me know if there is interest and suggestions. 

Thank you for your generosity! 

Risks and challenges

The printed issue of Works That Work No.8 about Bhutan will come out in late November 2016. So far, we have managed to print all issues on time. All the material for the documentary has been shot already, and we are confident that we can offer it for download in December 2016 as planned. Since the trip has already been paid for, and we already have most of the material, there are minimal risks involved.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €8 or more About US$ 9

    HD download

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released.

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    Pledge €16 or more About US$ 18

    HD download + Digital edition

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released + the digital edition of Works That Work magazine (PDF, EPUB, MOBI, online access to articles)

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    Pledge €24 or more About US$ 27

    HD download + Printed edition

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released + printed edition of Works That Work magazine (cca 90 pages)

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    Pledge €50 or more About US$ 56

    HD download + Original Photographs

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released + printed edition of Works That Work magazine + a set of original photographs from Bhutan

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    Pledge €100 or more About US$ 112

    HD download + Became a Patron

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released + printed edition of Works That Work magazine + your name in the printed magazine

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    Pledge €150 or more About US$ 168

    World's first 3D stamp

    Receive the 1967 world's first 3D stamp + Digital download of the HD movie + printed edition of Works That Work magazine

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    Pledge €250 or more About US$ 280

    HD download + Movie Credits

    Digital download of the HD movie when it is released + printed edition of Works That Work magazine + your name in the movie credits & printed magazine (Magazine Patron)

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    Pledge €500 or more About US$ 560

    HD download + Private Screening

    You and a guest will attend a private VIP film screening in The Hague (NL), hosted by Peter Bilak. + digital download of the HD movie when it is released + printed edition of Works That Work magazine + your name in the movie credits & printed magazine (Magazine Patron)

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    Pledge €1,000 or more About US$ 1,119

    Private Presentation

    Private presentation (60 min) about the trip and the film for a group of a company, by Peter Bilak. Travel and accommodation not included when outside of the Netherlands. Contact me for availability and details. + 5 copies of the magazine + HD download

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    Pledge €2,500 or more About US$ 2,798

    Associate Producer

    Associate producer credit of the documentary film, credited in the opening and closing credits. Copies of the magazine. DVD of the movie.

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Funding period

- (30 days)