Bhutan: 2019 released ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ screens in UK, receives great reviews

Published by
Kyle Smith

Bhutan: The last year’s Oscar nomination of Bhutan ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ persists to win hearts worldwide. It is the only Bhutanese film to get nominated for the Oscars and has won 20 awards and 10 nominations at different film festivals globally.

The movie is now live and screening in the United Kingdom and is receiving great reviews. The film was released in 2019 and was directed by Bhutan’s Pawo Choyning Dorji. In 2020, the movie won the Best of the Fest Award and Audience Choice award at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Notably, the movie has been recognised at several prestigious film festivals, including Hebden Bridge Film Festival, Chichester International Film Festival CinemAsia Film Festival, International Film Festival, Innsbruck etc.

Director Dorji studied International Relations in the USA and then pursued a master’s in Buddhist Studies from Dharamshala. It is worth mentioning that he is the youngest receiver of Bhutan’s highest civilian award, the Heart Son of the Thunder Dragon, the Druk Thuksey.

The award was presented to him by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in 2022. While addressing the audience, Dorji said that it was a matter of pride, and he wishes to encourage more Himalayan directors with this victory.

‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ was listed among the most loving movies of 2022 on several rating sites such as IMBD, Rotten Tomatoes etc.

The movie features a remote village, Lunana, located in the Gasa district and revolves around Ugyen – a young teacher from Thimpu – Bhutan’s capital who has been posted to the smallest school in Bhutan.

The movie has been able to put Lunana and the unique concept of Gross National Happiness on the world map. It is being predicted that it will boost Bhutan’s tourism industry, and more people from the West will want to visit Lunana.


Kyle Smith

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