Kushuthara, which in Bhutanese means ‘love token woven in cloth’, is the first film from this mystical country to star a western actor.
Bhutan, a tiny land-locked country nestled between the planet’s two most busy and populated countries, India and China, has a population of less than one million people but a thriving film industry which punches way above its weight.
The film, which receives its North American theatrical this spring, is set in staggeringly beautiful scenery in parts of the Himalayas usually inaccessible to foreigners, and stars Emrhys Cooper (Vanity/Person of Interest), as a western journalist who gets caught in a high-octane love affair with a Bhutanese girl, played by actress Kezang Wangmo, already a huge star in her native Bhutan—so much so that she has also become a Bhutanese Member of Parliament. It also stars Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuck, who starred alongside Brad Pitt as the young Dalai Lama in Seven Years in Tibet. It is directed by Karma Deki and has already received many awards from film festivals around the world.
Historically, the Bhutanese film industry has looked east for inspiration, modelling itself on the films of Bollywood, but this time it is looking west. Kushuthara is one of the first films to be made in a more western style, with a compelling storyline that draws on Buddhist spirituality to drive its narrative. As the first western actor to feature in a Bhutanese film, Emrhys Cooper has already turned into a matinee idol in the country.
Kushuthara has won a number of international awards ahead of its North American release including ‘Best Foreign Narrative Film’ at the Laughlin International Film Festival, an ‘Honorable Mention’ for Cooper at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and the ‘Lyrics, Composer and Sound Design’ award from the National Bhutan Film Festival. It has also been officially selected for additional prestigious film festivals around the world.
Kushuthara will be released in select theaters and VOD platforms this Spring.
One single thread, as if lost in the woven cloth, weaves together the story of the past and present lives of two people. Two people, each born on opposite sides of the world, become destined to meet and experience their individual karma and share in its consequences.