Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom marks Pawo Choyning Dorji’s feature debut but also Bhutan’s first Oscar entry in 23 years. Today, it made history when it landed a Best International Feature Film nomination—a first for Bhutan.
The Bhutanese drama follows Ugyen Dorji (Sherab Dorji), a schoolteacher who dreams of moving to Australia to become a professional singer. Instead, he’s sent to the remote town of Luanana in Northern Bhutan and Ugyen is faced with new challenges: harsh weather, a lack of amenities and how to find happiness in a place far from home.
Prior to its Oscar nomination, the film has received many awards including the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film and Best of the Fest award at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival, Lessina d’Oro award for Best Film at the Film Festival Della Lessinia in Italy and Best Actor for Sherab Dorji at the Festival International du Film de Saint-Jean-de-Luz.