KOCHI: A former journalist of the Bhutan Times and Bhutan's national newspaper Kuensel, Tashi Gyeltshen is an autodidact filmmaker who believes in making visually striking and remarkably symbolic films. The filmmaker, whose film 'Red Phallus' is being screened at the 23rd IFFK, shares his experience from being a journalist to a film director.
Just like his films, Tashi conversations carries much depth and opens your mind to deep thoughts. Speaking about his inclination towards filmmaking, he says, “After few years of working as a journalist, I was fired from my job. At this time, I began contemplating how to make my existence meaningful. I became a filmmaker by default. I have not considered this as a career but as a tool for me to see the meaning of my existence.” He also added that Cinema as an art form makes sense to him.
During the initial days, he made short films and documentaries, even though he did not have any formal education in film studies. “It was tough to adapt to the field especially after spending years of my career as a journalist. Having a guide is beneficial, but you are forced to do things from their perspective and follow a certain structure. Now, when I look back, I think it was beneficial to discover and learn filmmaking myself.”
His films ' Girl with a Red Sky', ' The Red Door', 'The Red Phallus', 'Sem Gi Jurwa' are unique. The 'Girl with a Red Sky' was commissioned by UNICEF and the Youth Development Fund. He received the Best Screenplay Award for 'Sem Gi Jurwa'. “The most difficult part of filmmaking is to find a sensible theme. Thousands of students pass out from film academies yearly but only a few are able to make good films. It is important to focus on good themes,” he said.
Tashi's film 'The Red Phallus' which he calls “ a paradox of being a human” is being screened at the film festival. The film is set in the backdrop of Bhutan. The film, which has premiered at several international film festivals, is being screened in India for the first time. "It is exciting to see a variety of good films under one roof. I will be participating till the end of the fest," he said.