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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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