Arun Bhattarai

Arun Bhattarai’s first feature-length documentary The Next Guardian premiered at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam at the First Appearance Competition in 2017. Since then it has been screened at more than 40 international festivals, had theatrical releases and broadcasted around the world. The film was developed in several international workshops and pitching forums and was supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, KRO-NCRV and the Creative Europe Media Fund. His most recent short documentary, Mountain Man (Mountainfilm 2023) premiered at IDFA 2022. The project won the Best Pitch Prize at If/Then Global Short Pitch 2019 and received funding from the International Documentary Association. His TV documentary Kelden won The Asia Pitch and was screened on NHK World TV and KBS Korea. Before becoming an independent filmmaker, Bhattarai worked as a TV director at the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) for more than five years. He graduated from the first class of DocNomads Joint Master in documentary directing for which he was awarded a full Erasmus Mundus scholarship in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels in 2014. He is currently developing his second feature-length documentary Gross National Happiness. The project won the Best Pitch South Asia Award at Dhaka Doclab 2019 and the International Emerging Film Talent Association Award, which sponsored the director to attend the Producers Workshop and Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2020. The project also received the Tribeca Film Institute Award at Docedge Kolkata 2020, which sponsored the director to attend the Tribeca Film Festival’s TFI Network market. The project has also received funding from the Sundance Film Institute and the catapult film fund among others. Bhattarai established his own production company, Sound Pictures, dedicated to creative documentaries. He is one of the few independent documentary filmmakers in Bhutan.

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