For those who’ve been following my Bhutan film journey, you’ve learned, along with me, that making a documentary can be an incredibly circuitous, meandering, and lengthy process.
As I've shared in previous updates, in the course of editing the story of the human-powered journey across Bhutan, another, entirely different cut emerged - blending my own journey as a seeker and filmmaker with an inquiry into Gross National Happiness and our collective quest for happiness. Although this approach was promising, after careful consideration and lots of input, we’ve determined this second concept / film [which is assuming the name The Happiest Place] needs more development in order to do it justice, and is a separate project that is beyond the scope of what we promised our supporters.
In the last 3 months, we've re-approached the version of the film that we originally pitched on Kickstarter, centering on the human-powered expedition across Bhutan, and with several months of work and the help of an academy award-winning editor Lisa Fruchtman, we made a huge breakthrough. This is the cut [now called Crossing Bhutan] that just confirmed for a February premiere, and that we'll be sharing with you in the months to come.
We feel that the title Crossing Bhutan more accurately expresses the original premise and promise of the film - a human-powered journey across Bhutan that explores Bhutan’s unique culture and policy of Gross National Happiness.
Crossing Bhutan is nearing "picture-lock" [when all the visuals are finalized in the film] and will have our complete focus as we get the film over the finish line for our premiere and subsequent distribution. We’re currently building our festival strategy beyond our February premiere and should have more clarity on other screenings soon.
Should the second film, The Happiest Place, get made, you'll be the first to know!
We can’t wait to share Crossing Bhutan with you.
In the meantime, enjoy a few production stills from the film! (below)