Bhutan’s Oscar Entry ‘The Monk and the Gun’ Sells to Major Distributors Worldwide (EXCLUSIVE)

Bhutan’s official Oscar entry “The Monk And The Gun,” Pawo Choyning Dorji’s follow-up to “Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom,” has been bought by a raft of well-established international theatrical distributors.

Following its festival premieres at Telluride, Toronto, Rome and Busan, “The Monk and the Gun” has been sold by Films Boutique to Pyramide Distribution (France), September Films (Benelux), Rialto Distribution (Australia), Future Films (Scandinavia), A Contracorriente (Spain), Lev Films (Israel), Aurora Films (Poland), Trigon (Switzerland), Alambique Films (Portugal) and Impact Films (India and Indian Subcontinent).

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Earlier this week, the crowdpleaser was also acquired by Roadside Attraction for the U.S. in a deal negotiated with UTA, which is repping the film in North America. Films Boutique is currently negotiating deals in other territories.

Choyning Dorji’s feature debut, “Lunana, a Yak in the Classroom,” was the second film ever submitted by Bhutan for the Oscar race and the first to earn a Oscar nomination. The film was also an international box office success. It opened at Telluride Film Festival and played at Toronto, where it garnered solid reviews across the board.

The film is set in the Kingdom of Bhutan in 2006. Modernization has finally arrived and Bhutan becomes the last country in the world to connect to the internet and television, as well as adopt a democracy. To teach the people how to vote, the authorities organize a mock election, but the locals seem unconvinced. Traveling to rural Bhutan where religion is more popular than politics, the election supervisor discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for the election day. The cast is led by Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa and Tandin Sonam, among others.

“The Monk and the Gun” is produced by Jean-Christophe Simon (“Birds of Passage,” “Subtraction”), Hsu Feng (“Farewell My Concubine”), Stephanie Lai (“Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom”) and Choyning Dorji. Executive producers are Zhang Xin (“Ezra”), BAFTA nominee and PGA Award winner William Horberg (“Kite Runner,” “Queens Gambit”), Lisa Henson (“Pinocchio”), Kris Eiamsakulrat, Chayamporn Taeratanachai and Janee Pennington.

“The Monk and the Gun” is produced by Dangphu Dingphu: A 3 Pigs Production and Journey to the East Films. It’s a co-production with Films Boutique, Tomson Films in association with Closer Media, Animandala, N8 Studios and Wooden Trailer Prods.

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