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Young Bhutanese Filmmaker Zuki Juno Tobgye shares her experience at Film School Fest, Munich


22 year old Zuki Juno Tobgye, who studied film in Singapore’s Laselle College of Arts, is all smiles sharing her experience at the Film School Fest, Munich where her short film, ‘Searching for Wives’ was screened last week.  Her film is about is about an Indian migrant worker in Singapore who works as a lorry driver and is trying to find a wife through the help of a photo studio.

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Bhutanese Filmmaker Zuki Juno Tobgye takes part in the Film School Fest, Munich

Bhutanese Filmmaker Zuki Juno Tobgye takes part in the Film School Fest, Munich

“Day 1 of my Film School Fest, Munich experience was met with many hospitable and welcoming festival organizers. I arrived at Munich around noon and was greeted by a festival volunteer who came to receive me. After getting my little bag of festival goodies, my passes and tickets I quickly became acquainted with the other international directors participating in the festival.

Prior to this trip I associated the term “youth hostel” as a large room with many rows of bunk beds and a little locker for storage. Although that would have been a cool experience too, I was pleasantly surprised at the youth hostel the festival had organized for the international directors, it had a vintage charm and my room was a spacious three bed room. I got ready as the festival organizers were to pick us up at the hostel for our opening night! I was humbled that my film was one of the opening films and we had a photo call as well. There was dinner and drinks and soon our festival turned into a dance party where we really started socializing with one another. A group of us then decided to hang out at the bar of our hostel – after the fantastic first day of the festival it would soon be apparent that this would be how the whole week would go – films and fun!
Film School Fest, Munich, Germany

Film School Fest, Munich, Germa

The festival organized many activities throughout the week perhaps to make all of us bond with each other. There was a brunch organized where we could mingle with the film students of the Munich film school, a brewery tour – they would organize like a chill session at the lounge with homemade mulled wine or organize that we all go to a bar or a club. I loved it all. Of course we had time to explore Munich ourselves and the other directors and myself made a plan to see the English gardens, visit the market and just explore the city which resulted in getting lost 90% of the time.

I felt (and learned that the other directors felt the same) it was interesting how we all became friends so fast in such a short amount of time to the point that when people were leaving the festival we were actually very sad. There were directors from so many different countries that I met, Australia, Israel, Finland, France, Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, China, Russia, Columbia etc. I was blown away by the talent and their films, and of course felt more inspired by the art I love. In the midst of our conversations we did bring up the question of ” when did you know you wanted to pursue filmmaking” for myself it came later in life and it wasn’t so much the obvious field I chose, it just came from realising I love story-telling and that since young I always envisioned a more creative lifestyle.
'Searching for Wives' poster

‘Searching for Wives’ poster

 In terms of documentary I realized how much we can learn from others by simply listening to them and trying to see life from different perspectives which is why I enjoyed making my film “Searching for Wives” so much. It was a new way for me to understand the societal pressures and the loneliness of being alone in a foreign land, yearning for the company and love of another person. It was an insight for me to see that there are different ways people do things all over the world such as finding a wife which in Patha’s case is from taking a picture and allowing his parents to arrange it themselves.
 This festival was a wonderful experience I will treasure for always. From meeting new friends, watching good films, expanding my knowledge of what is going on in the world and how relevant it is to the kinds of stories we tell, and the amount of fun we had – all I can say is I feel so lucky and grateful that I can do what I love and be a part of this humongous community – film.”
Zuki Juno Tobgye

 

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