Indie studio N8 makes history as first Thai studio to get Oscar nod.

Indie studio N8 makes history as first Thai studio to get Oscar nod.

N8 and “The Monk and the Gun” from director Pawo Dorji earn historic Academy Award nod for the region, paving way for indie Asian cinema globally.

Thai indie movie studio N8 made history for the Thai and Southeast Asian film industry as "The Monk and the Gun" was shortlisted for the 2024 Academy Awards. This marks the first time a Thai studio has been recognized at one of the world's most prestigious film awards.

“The Monk and the Gun" is written and directed by Pawo Chowning Dorji. The Bhutanese filmmaker was previously nominated for an Academy Award for his directorial debut film "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" in 2019, which garnered significant acclaim from both judges and audiences. The recognition of "The Monk and the Gun" is both an honour and a testament to the quality of storytelling from the region. The film is an artistic exploration and refreshing satire on violence and democracy.

Set against the backdrop of Bhutan's significant political changes in 2006, when the introduction of a democratic system began to challenge the power of the monarchy, Pawo Chowning Dorji was inspired to direct a dramatic film that reflects these changes through its characters. This film is not only engaging and thought-provoking but also mirrors the challenges of embracing modernity while honouring the past. Dorji brings a wealth of experience in guiding actors through diverse and challenging narratives.

“The Monk and the Gun" is both entertaining and light-hearted, offering reflections on a period of transformation. It is a work that captures history and allows viewers to immerse themselves in the emotions and experiences of that era. With a large cast and skilled direction, it stands out as a compelling film to watch this year. The film delves into the complexities of growing up and facing inevitable changes during challenging times, weaving unique storylines with intricate concepts. It has carved a distinct and provocative path in the realm of film art.

N8 is a Bangkok-based film production and distribution company that has quickly emerged as a key player in the independent film industry in Asia. The studio is known for working with auteur and high-profile filmmakers; they are behind Sophon Sakdapisit’s hit horror “Home for Rent” with GDH, Emmy-winning director Pailin Wedel’s feature “Heals”, as well as Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke’s dark comedy thriller “A Useful Ghost.” Recently, N8 also picked up Korean sci-fi thriller ’30 minutes’ by ‘Chabak’ director William Inhyuk Hyoung, the award-winning Filipino film ‘ASOG’, and Taichi Kimura’s black-and-white thriller ‘Afterglows’, through their venture EST N8.

The Oscar nod for "The Monk and the Gun" underscores the region’s ability to produce internationally competitive, high-quality films. It marks a significant milestone in promoting the Thai and Southeast Asian film industry on a global stage.

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