Chasing stars and celluloid dreams

Kuenzang Pem

Kuenzang Pem won the awards of the “Best female debut” and “Best female lead actor” of 2020 from the movie “Tsoenra” at the national film awards

LHAKPA TSHERING

Thimphu

Many young people have the passion that will help them realize their dream and give their life meaning, but they continue to struggle to find a path to put their talents, skills, interests, abilities, personalities, and values.

If passion defines you, it is worth putting it into action to be fulfilled and successful. They probably feel the joy and satisfaction in their work that give them the feeling of having some sort of contribution to society.

Just like many others who have dreams for themselves, Kuenzang Pem, 28, from Toebesa in Punakha, has been very fond of acting since her childhood. But her passion for acting faded as she had to stay focused on her academics and later on her career as she became a teacher.

Kuenzang holds a Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literature from the College of Language and Culture Studies (CLCS) in Taktse, Trongsa, and a post-graduate diploma in education (Dzongkha) from the Paro College of Education.

Even as she continues to pursue her teaching profession, Kuenzang Pem follows her passion to act though it is difficult for her to keep her passions upbeat in the film industry.

“It was in 2019 when I got an offer for a movie. I felt like I should give my long-lost passion a try so I just went for it,” she said. “If we are passionate about our talent, then we naturally build a place for ourselves,” the 28-year-old said.

Further, she had the chance to make her debut as a lead actress through the movie “Tsoenra” where she won the awards of the “Best female debut” and “Best female lead actor” in 2020 for her enchanting and gripping performance.

As a new entrant into the film industry, she says, she did not expect to win the awards but was thrilled. “I am grateful beyond words to the film association for recognizing and appreciating my work,” she said, adding she feels really motivated for the recognition given to a newcomer like her.

What makes her even more valuable is that she prefers to play comedy if that character impresses her. “I have always been curious about comedy and I find it quite challenging, therefore, I would like to experience it once,” she said.

Not limited to this, she thinks to choose different roles instead of remaining just a lead actress. “I have just started acting and I just feel like I should try every role,” she continued, adding that there are so many roles that she is curious and excited about the experiment.

Kuenzang Pem has yet to complete the movie “HERO” that had to halt filming amid the coronavirus outbreak. “The role I am portraying in this movie is quite different from my first movie,” she said. “It is a completely modern genre and I am very excited about this movie and my role in it.”

In addition, she has a new movie on the way. “We are into talks about a new movie script which is yet again completely different from my other two movies. So I am just excited and hoping that things go well with it,” she said.

She says people have different expectations to see something new every time someone appears on the screen. With that in mind, she says it is an arduous task to live up to all the expectations of audiences and entertain them.

To stand out amidst a competitive environment, KuenzangPem says, it is perhaps the best to compete with oneself. “I believe the only way for an actor is to stand out and act even better every time you are given the opportunity,” she said, adding everyone wants the best for themselves.

Meanwhile, with over-the-top (OTT) – theatre to digital – platforms changing the game of media over the years, she said, it’s a win-win situation for both the entertainer and audience. “There are people who love to watch movies in the theatre and there are also people who love to enjoy it at their cozy homes,” she said.

Crediting her success to the family members for the support, motivation, and encouragement, she says, a little share of understanding does the magic to drive to glory. “Even when I decided to act they were just happy and excited for me,” she said.

“If the audiences love my performances, I will do some more films with a better experience and better knowledge. Also, I might work off the screen and pave more ways into the entertainment business by directing and producing movies,” she added.

Her message to the budding actors and artists who want to break into acting implies “go ahead, find your passion” if one is determined to do it. “If you think your love for acting is strong enough, then you should always be kind enough to give yourself a chance in it,” she said.

Although she is not active in using social media platforms, Kuenzang Pem says, social media is helping hundreds of young aspiring artists by giving them opportunities to showcase their talents while also encouraging aspiring artists to come forward.